Socialist Worker

London bus drivers announce new strike dates

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2438

Buses out of service during the strike earlier this month

Buses out of service during the strike earlier this month (Pic: Socialist Worker)

The Unite union has announced a series of 24-hour walkouts on London buses starting on Thursday of next week, 5 February, by over 20,000 bus drivers. This will be followed by strikes on 13 and 16 February.

The strikes build on the solid walkout held just a few weeks ago as bus drivers fight for equal pay across the capital’s 18 bus companies.

There were over 1,200 miles of traffic tailbacks that day, more than double the average for normal rush hour traffic, as people sought alternative routes to work.

Thousands of buses didn’t move from the garages - and there was overwhelming public support for the strike.

Transport for London (TfL) bosses’ claims of running a third of services were not credible – even their own figures contradicted that.

Drivers can be paid more than £3 an hour differently across the companies even though they do the same job and have the same skills and training.

As the union has pointed out, if there can be one fare for passengers there should be one pay rate for drivers. TfL controls most aspects of running London’s bus services but not pay, allowing bosses to squeeze more profit out of the contracts for TfL routes.

It is good the union has increased the pressure with three strikes in 12 days. This is a fight everyone can get behind and build solidarity for – go down to your local bus garage picket line from around 5am. Activists now need to go all out to make next week’s strike stronger than the last one.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.