Ballots for industrial action are breaking out across London bus garages. London bus drivers have had enough.
Issues vary from invasion of privacy to pay freezes, but the common theme is that people want to carry on fighting back.
This comes as the Unite union is stepping up its London bus campaign for central pay bargaining with a march from Marble Arch to the Transport for London HQ on 5 August. Last week drivers at CT Plus in east London voted overwhelming for action over pay.
They were offered 2.25 percent this year and RPI plus 1 percent in the second year.
Drivers at East Thames buses, the only bus company run directly by Transport for London, are set to ballot within the next two weeks over a pay offer of 1 percent or a £300 one-off payment. The ballot is significant as the London mayor Boris Johnson has wasted no time in seeking to privatise East Thames.
Understandably the drivers are against such a move.First Capital Drivers will be balloting on Friday of this week over First Bus’s national policy of a pay freeze for all drivers.
It comes off the back of successful strike action this week in Yorkshire and strong ballot returns for strike action at First Essex North, 74 percent, and South, 91 percent.
Metroline drivers are set to ballot on Friday of this week over the issue of CCTV cameras in the driver’s cabs.
Cameras in cabs are seen by many drivers as a step too far and an invasion of privacy.
Drivers in London are under enough pressure without having the all seeing eye of Big Brother peering over them all day.
Paul Brandon is a London bus driver and editor of the Busworker newspaper. Email firstname.lastname@example.org