|24 Hour Bus Strike This Tuesday|
Bus workers want a single London wide agreement
Thousands of workers at 18 bus companies in London are to stage a one-day strike on 13 January, the Unite union has announced.
It will affect services from around 04:00am and also night bus services operating on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. On Wednesday 14 January, buses should operate as normal.
Transport for London say that it is very difficult to predict in advance the level of service that will operate on the 700 specific bus routes. They recommend checking their web site. The electronic signs at bus stops will be operational.
All other TfL services, including trams and cycle hire, will operate as normal and there will be extra river services. Bus & Tram Pass season tickets will be accepted on other TfL services via reasonable routes.
The 24 hour stoppage follows the continued refusal by London’s 18 bus operators to enter into talks about a single London wide agreement covering bus workers’ pay, terms and conditions.
In contrast to tube drivers, there isn’t one collective pay deal for bus drivers in the capital, whose pay is negotiated on a company by company basis leading to pay inequality and disparities.
There are more than 80 different pay rates in operation, said Unite.
Transport for London (TfL) said it was "very disappointed" Londoners would be disrupted.
Commenting, Wayne King London regional officer for Unite said: “Passengers pay one fare to travel on London’s iconic red buses, yet there are over 80 different pay rates covering bus workers, many doing the same job or driving the same route but for different rates of pay.
“Strike action is not a step our members take lightly, but bus workers who keep London moving 24 hours a day, seven days a week, have had enough of pay inequality and unfair pay disparities.
“The blame for the disruption that strike action will cause sits squarely with London’s bus companies. They have repeatedly ignored our offers for collective talks and need to get their heads out of the sand and start negotiating meaningfully about ending pay inequality on London’s buses.”
Mike Weston, TfL's director of buses, said: "Bus drivers are employed by private companies and their pay and conditions are a matter for those companies and the union to discuss.
"The current system provides the best value for money for the residents and visitors to London and allows the individual bus companies to determine the best terms and conditions for their individual operating requirements."
The bus companies involved in the dispute are: Arriva North, Arriva South, Selkent, London General, Metroline, Metroline West, Metrobus, CT Plus, London United, Abellio South, Abellio West, London Sovereign, Stagecoach, Blue Triangle, Northumberland Park, Tower Transit, Docklands and London Central.