BUS WORKERS at Centre West in London, owned by Britain's biggest bus company, First Group, have been awarded a 25p an hour pay rise after negotiations at the arbitration service ACAS. This is more than the original 15p an hour offer, but less than could have been won if union officials had built on the strikes the workers staged before Christmas. Around 750 workers, members of the TGWU union, walked out at London's largest bus garage, Centre West's Westbourne Park depot, in October.
Some 1,900 workers across six garages then staged two one day official strikes last December. Action forced Centre West to increase its offer. But workers threw out the new 25 pence an hour rise offered and voted for more strikes. TGWU union officials, though, then recommended that further strikes be called off for talks at ACAS. ACAS has ruled in the union's favour, that the 25 pence an hour rise should be backdated to April and a 100 payment made to workers who don't benefit from a regrading. Workers will not get the chance to vote on the deal as the ACAS negotiations were binding.
BUS WORKERS employed by Stagecoach in Lancashire are set to take on the transport giant again, some 14 months after local bus driver Frank Dean was killed on a picket line. The workers have overwhelmingly rejected a two year deal. They planned a mass meeting on Sunday to discuss action.