A planned strike by bus drivers at London United in south west London, was called off after workers narrowly voted to accept a new pay offer.
Bosses offered 4 percent over two years, but refused to backdate it to April when the pay negotiations should have begun. As a result the deal was rejected and a one-day strike set for Monday of this week.
Bosses then offered a lump sum of £100 on top. This was put to a consultative ballot last week with the drivers’ Unite union recommending acceptance. Socialist Worker understands that the vote was 483 to accept, but with a large minority of 383 rejecting it.
The threat of action forced the company to improve its offer slightly, but more could have been won if a strike had taken place. The final deal is below inflation, and it was a mistake for the union to recommend it.
Bus drivers on the W5 route at Holloway bus garage, north London, will no longer be transferred to another company. The 13 drivers were facing disruption to their lives after the tender for the route was won by CT Plus, based in Hackney, east London.
Their current employer Metroline told drivers that they would now have to work for CT Plus. There was a lot of anger over this, and one driver told Socialist Worker that there was “a whiff of militancy in the air”.
Coming ahead of a strike ballot over pay, it’s a welcome boost. Drivers across Metroline overwhelmingly rejected a pay offer recently.