Bus drivers in the Unite union at CT Plus struck again on Friday of last week—and announced more strikes in their dispute over pay in Hackney, east London.
New strikes were set for Friday of this week and the following three Fridays.
The last of these will be combined with a strike on Monday 29 November—aimed to coincide with a planned strike on London Underground by the RMT and TSSA unions.
One driver told Socialist Worker, “I think the management here are taking advantage of the crisis in the economy.”
Another driver chipped in, “But there’s no recession at CT Plus—business in booming. Just look at their website.”
And another driver said, “I got a newsletter from the company boasting about how well they’re doing, how profits are up. But we don’t see any of it.”
The company has imposed a pay “rise” of around 1 percent. The drivers’ are demanding the RPI rate of inflation plus 2 percent.
The strike faces challenges. The company recruited a lot of new drivers before the dispute and has been using controllers to drive buses. Drivers who work on a separate contract on the Olympics site have also been used to cover CT Plus routes on strike days.
“We need to stand together. Some people are scared, they want to join the strike but they worry about losing their job,” said a picket.
But strikers remain determined.
Derrick Campbell, the Unite union branch secretary, told Socialist Worker, “Management were surprised when we told them about the new strike days we’re calling.
“They had hoped it was finished.”