OVER 1,200 London bus workers marched through the capital last week protesting at pay and the impact of deregulation. The workers, members of the TGWU union, brought traffic to a halt as they marched towards parliament.
The lively demonstration included slow moving buses surrounded by marchers carrying banners from bus depots across London, and placards demanding 'Fair play on bus pay'. Hundreds of bus workers applauded and shook hands with the hundreds more demonstrators as they arrived for the rally in Parliament Square.
Car and van drivers beeped their horns in support of the protest. The bus workers were raising the same demand as other workers in London and across the country-better pay.
They want increased wages to put them on a par with tube workers. London bus workers face the same problems as teachers and council workers who have also struck over pay.
Steve Turner, a TGWU regional official, described at the rally how workers were forced into working 50-hour weeks to afford high London rents. The workers also want an end to competitive tendering for routes. Robert Farr, a Norwood bus driver, argued that the buses should be run as a public service again and not put at the mercy of private firms.