Socialist Worker

London-wide pay fight on the buses

by Amanda Logan
Issue No. 2102

Unite union members working on London’s buses met last week for the London Busworkers Conference.

The union’s members on the buses across the city have been asked whether they want Unite to press ahead with the London-wide claim of £30,000, on a 36-hour week.

The response was a resounding yes, with more than 6,000 bus workers returning ballot papers. It shows there is a real mood for a fight over pay.

Union reps from all the major companies in the city reported that they have put in their pay claims.

As yet, none of the companies have made any moves to accept them, so we need to be pressing this issue.

We have set up four meetings for bus workers over the next month to take the campaign and the discussion out to different parts of London.

There was also the idea of staging another demonstration in July or August to go from TfL headquarters near Southwark tube station to City Hall.

There was discussion about when would be a good time – as some drivers will be on holiday, as will London assembly members.

One concern raised at the meeting was the fact that drivers have to pay for an emergency ticket pack when they lose or misplace one.

This payment is usually taken out of our wages, and the value of the e-packs can vary from about £90 to over £200.

One rep suggested that we should all just hand them back in at the ends of our shifts – they are the property of London Buses and why should we have to be responsible for them?

This was the first meeting of the London Busworkers Conference since the London elections and some at the meeting raised concerns over the election of Tory Boris Johnson as mayor and what this will mean for transport services in the city.

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