Socialist Worker

Transport round up: Drivers walk out in a row over split shifts

Issue No. 2660

Workers on the picket line in Hackney

Workers on the picket line in Hackney (Pic: Unite Community East London)


School drivers and assistants for disabled children in Hackney, east London, struck on Tuesday of this week.

They planned a further walkout on Thursday after resuming their walkouts last week.

The Unite union members are fighting for a weekly £50 payment from the council over split shifts. One picket explained that lots of workers don’t live in the borough.

Getting home and back to work between the morning and afternoon shifts is expensive.

They are also being asked to carry out extra duties such as cleaning the buses in their own time.

Des Barrow, president of Hackney NEU union, brought solidarity greetings to strikers.

He stressed that teachers can’t do their jobs without the work done by the drivers and assistants, and said everyone has to stick together in the face of the cuts.

Des pledged that there would be collections in schools for the strike fund. Danny Hogan, Greenwich council Unite secretary, also expressed support as did Peter Kavanagh, regional Unite secretary.

Kavanagh said the dispute was a battle about low pay and the council will listen because the strikers will stand firm.

Gareth Jenkins

Support and donations to steve.edwards@hackney.gov.uk

Workers challenge discrimination by TfL

Private hire cab drivers are taking Transport for London (TfL) to court over the extension of the congestion charge to minicabs.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain is bringing the legal action, set to begin on 9 July.

The union’s lawyers said the extension of the charge is a case of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act. 

Some 94 percent of London’s 107,000 minicab drivers are black and Asian according to TfL figures.

Muhumed Ali, London United Private Hire Drivers chair, said, “It is completely discriminatory that we have to pay this charge while black cabs continue to be exempt.

“If Sadiq Khan doesn’t reverse this policy we will continue to fight it in the courts and in the streets.”

lThere is a crowdfund for legal costs—to donate go to bit.ly/CongestFund


Solid strike on South Western Railway

Workers at South Western Railway (SWR) last week staged a solid five-day strike for passenger safety.

SWR bosses want to remove guards from trains and replace them with workers who don’t have the same safety training.

The strike, by RMT union members, is part of a long?running dispute over driver?only operation services that has seen strikes over six networks.


Bus strike held up in South Yorkshire 

The Unite union has postponed strikes on South Yorkshire buses that were due to take place this Saturday.

It said the suspension of action was to give a “mark of respect for veterans wishing to attend events on Armed Forces Day”.

Some 900 workers are fighting an “insulting” one?year pay offer.

They planned to strike on Monday of next week.


Possible walkout at Edinburgh fringe 

Transport at the Edinburgh fringe could be thrown into chaos as bus drivers threaten strikes.

More than 1,700 workers at Lothian Buses are fighting “poor workplace relations and a hostile culture”.

Unite union members voted by 91 percent for strikes in a ballot, on a 63 percent turnout. Talks are planned but the union warned of a “clear mandate” for strikes.


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