Strong strike by London bus drivers

Bus drivers on strike in Shepherd’s Bush, west London (Pic: Man Smallman)

Over 2,000 London bus drivers struck on Monday over pay and situations.

The strikes focused three subsidiaries of multinational bus working firm RATP—London United, High quality Line and London Sovereign.

The Unite union claims that RATP is utilizing the ­pandemic as “a handy smokescreen” to attempt to introduce insurance policies that would see drivers lose as much as £2,500 yearly.

Bosses have additionally ­threatened drivers with the attainable introduction of zero‑hour contracts.

Manoj, a driver and department rep in Edgware, north London instructed Socialist Employee, “We would like recognition of the work we’ve performed over the previous yr.

“We need to be handled with respect and given what we want. A £2.40 pay enhance every week isn’t sufficient, that’s why we’re right here.

“I haven’t heard something from administration, so I don’t know if a compromise might be made. Most of us listed below are on strike, it’s the very best assist for a strike we’ve ever had.

“We’re going to strike once more subsequent Wednesday and the week after.” The ­employees had a energetic presence on picket traces outdoors most depots. They’ve affected companies from Edgware, Harrow, Hounslow, Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush, Tolworth and Fulwell.

Staff at London United, which operates in south and west London, had been as a result of strike on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Staff at High quality Line, in Epsom, deliberate to strike on Monday and Tuesday. They’re paid £2.50 an hour lower than drivers at RATP’s different subsidiaries.

The employees have been provided a pay enhance of 0.5 %—seven pence an hour. Drivers at London Sovereign in north London had been on strike on Monday and are set to strike once more on Wednesday 3 and 10 March.

Staff have been provided a pay enhance of simply 0.75 %, which is nicely under what has been provided by different operators.

It’s nice to see employees combating again in the course of the pandemic, and London bus employees have actual energy.

Manchester bus drivers working for Go North West had been additionally getting ready for an all-out steady strike from this Sunday.

The Unite union members are combating bosses’ plans to fireside the complete workforce and rehire it on worse contracts.

The proposed plans would axe 10 % of jobs—and pressure drivers to work longer hours for no further pay.

Staff are additionally offended at proposed adjustments to the sick pay coverage. This might pressure them to work whereas sick or when they need to be ­self‑isolating for Covid-19.

Transport employees have been key all through the pandemic. They need to combat to obtain the pay and situations they deserve.

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