Janet MacLeod reports- There was solid support for the strike across the city from bus workers who are fed up of being treated unfairly by their employers. Many drivers on the same bus route for the same bus company are being paid different salaries. The hourly pay rates can be anything from £9.30 to £12.34 depending on the company and on how long you have worked for them.
Commenting on the dispute, Unite Regional Officer Wayne King said: “The bus operators can well afford to tackle the pay inequality and we urge them to collectively get round the table and start talking about a fair deal for London’s bus workers.”
A survey carried out by Mass1 for Unite, gives public backing to the bus workers’ campaign to end unfair pay disparities and secure agreement for pay and conditions across London’s 18 bus operators. It is a simple request: one rate of pay for all bus drivers; an end to division in place of sector wide collective bargaining.
Under the current system the bus operators have the upper hand, with workers unable to move between bus operators without losing pay increments gained through length of service and risking starting again at the lowest rate of pay. It keeps the workforce in its place and gives a measure of control over them that can foster poor management practice as workers struggle against increasing workloads without feeling able to fight back for fear of job loss.
Unite has strong and active and growing membership in all 70 of the bus garages in the city and spurred on by previous success in winning the Olympic bonus for its members is ready to stand firm on their demand for fair pay.