Unite union reps heard last week that bosses at most of London’s bus firms have been forced into talks they previously refused to take part in.
Pressure from two solid walkouts earlier this year has made the difference. But it is still early stages and some bosses remain resistant.
Craig, a Unite convenor in north London, told Socialist Worker he was “happy” at how the dispute has developed. “The companies were saying ‘never’ to talks but we’ve forced them to the table.”
Unite rep Des, who works for Go Ahead, added, “It’s a good thing that talks are happening—that’s progress.”
Drivers doing the same job receive more than 80 different pay rates and over £3 an hour difference across the capital’s 18 bus operators.
Workers want an end to it.
Craig said, “This is about winning collective bargaining for over 20,000 bus drivers.
“It’s about job security and drivers taking their conditions with them if they move garage or to another company. To win we need every driver involved.”
More talks are set for Monday of next week.
The union should put the Tories on the spot with the general election underway and push Labour to show whose side they are on.
But Des argued, “If nothing comes out of these talks we must call action straight away and put the pressure back on.”