Andy Beadle, a T&G shop steward at London Central’s Peckham bus garage, has been sacked for representing his members’ views over recent pay negotiations.
Members had already voted against a deal once. But Andy was dismissed for producing an “unauthorised notice” calling on members to reject the deal a second time.
Drivers at Peckham garage showed their determination to support Andy at an emergency T&G branch meeting, held at the garage gates as Andy was barred from entering the garage.
The 20 bus workers who turned up unanimously backed a motion calling for the union to start a ballot for strike action in support of Andy’s reinstatement.
The break-up of London bus workers into separate companies has led to huge differences in the earnings of drivers across the capital.
The pay deal, negotiated for London Central drivers, would still leave them receiving £50 a week less than some London bus workers.
Bosses at London Central thought that sacking Andy would nip in the bud any possibility of drivers’ action over wages and conditions.
The mood among bus drivers for Andy, both in Peckham and more widely, is overwhelmingly supportive. This is an outright management attack on fundamental union rights. They cannot be allowed to get away with it.
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Over 300 First Bus drivers in north Staffordshire were set to strike again this Saturday and on Monday of next week.