ABOUT 100 bus drivers lobbied parliament on Wednesday of last week to demand the government protects London's transport industry from a threatened £125 million cut in funding. Drivers also explained that their pensions were under threat and that living and working in London is next to impossible without London weighting payments.
Newly elected TGWU union deputy general secretary Jack Dromey addressed the rally, promising to keep up the pressure on the government. He was met with calls for strikes if the cuts in funding were implemented. Robert Farr, a bus driver from West Norwood bus garage, said, 'The reason for this lobby and why we're so upset is that we've been told that there may be a £125 million cut in government funding for bus transport next year.
'Since privatisation everything is falling apart. Things were much better when public transport was run by government.'
MANAGEMENT IS trying to introduce charges for parking for workers at the Westbourne bus garage, which is the biggest in London and employs 900 drivers and staff. It is run by the First Group, who say we have to pay £1.
We had an emergency union meeting on Monday of last week. It was the biggest turnout I have ever seen. There were about 100 people there. People were already angry because management are trying to transfer 100 drivers to Willesden, to drive the new 'bendy buses'. This will mean that they can sack 100 conductors.
People at the meeting were extremely angry about the proposed charges. No one in the garage is prepared to pay. Some people wanted to walk out. After meeting for two hours, the union reps left. We have heard they are talking to management. I think that they will come back with some compromise.
MARIO, bus driver