Fresh London bus controllers strike to cause ‘chaos’ for eight days

Bus passengers could be hit with disruption for eight days next month after a union announced a bus controllers strike.

40 bus controllers working in Twickenham and Battersea for Transport UK, previously known as Abellio, will walkout from May 8-10 and May 13-17.

Affected routes are primarily in south and south west London and include: 24, 27, 111, 156, 159, 267, 285, 322, 344, 345, 415, 490, 969, H20, H25, H26, R68 and the R70.

The control room staff, who instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents, will stage the walkout in a row over pay, said the union, Unite.

The union alleged that its workers had been offered just a five per cent pay increase for 2023 by Transport UK, which it called a substantial real terms pay cut, as inflation stood at 13.4 per cent last January when the pay rise was due.

It also claimed that workers already earn up to £10,000 less a year than similar staff at other bus companies.

Unite regional officer Maxine Loza said: “Transport UK’s refusal to deliver a vastly improved offer will cause traffic chaos for Londoners.

“Without these vital workers, buses don’t run on time and driver and passenger safety is jeopardised.

“Yet by refusing to come back with an improved offer, Transport UK are showing just how little they value their staff.”

The workers previously went on strike for nine days in March.

A spokesperson for the bus company said: “We have negotiated with Unite since April 2023 regarding pay for its members in our Controller and Officials staff groups.

“It is disappointing to see Unite take unnecessary strike action following an improved offer of a 7% salary increase for 2023, back paid to January 2023, followed by a 3% rise for 2024, back paid to January 2024. This offer is in line with increases made to other groups of staff within the business.

“We have mitigation plans in place for the upcoming strikes and are working with TfL to ensure Londoners can continue to travel during this needless action. During previous action services ran as normal.”

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