Bus Services Return to Normal on Wednesday

Following 24 strike which caused "significant disruption"

Related links

TfL advice to customers during strike


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Transport for London says that bus services have returned to normal on Wednesday January 14, following a 24 hour strike which caused "significant disruption" throughout Tuesday.

The strike affected services from around 4am on Tuesday morning till 4am this morning.

The Unite union said picket lines were in place across London’s 70 bus garages as over 20,000 bus workers working for 18 bus operators took part in the 24 hour strike to end unfair pay disparities across the capital’s bus network.

Claiming solid support for the strike the bus workers’ union Unite urged TfL and the mayor of London to "bang the bus operators’ heads together" to get them to sit down collectively with the union to resolve the dispute.

Unite claims a refusal by the operators to address pay inequality has led to pay gaps of over £3 an hour for new starters opening up, with pay varying from £9.30 to £12.34 an hour depending on the company.

Commenting on the disruption, Unite regional officer Wayne King said: " TfL and the mayor need to take a look at the streets of London today and bang the bus operators’ heads together to end the pay inequality on London’s buses.

" Today’s strike action has been solidly supported and illustrates the depth of anger over the huge pay disparities among the people who keep London on the move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

" Strike action is always the last resort, but the refusal of London’s bus operators to engage in collective talks has caused today’s disruption to the traveling public. Bus passengers pay the same fare, so why shouldn’t bus drivers be paid the same rate.

" 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."

The bus companies involved in the dispute were: 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.

Mike Weston, TfL's Director of Buses, said: "I am very sorry that the leadership of Unite have chosen to disrupt the journeys of bus passengers, especially given that only 16 per cent of the bus drivers voted for strike action.

"As the bus companies who employ the drivers have said, it makes no sense to pay all drivers precisely the same amount. As in all professions, bus drivers have different skills and experience and it is only right that this can be reflected in pay. If all drivers are paid the average then by definition half of all bus drivers will need to take a pay cut. Any 'levelling up' of pay to the highest rates would lead to a cut in bus services, an increase in fares, or both.

"London has one of the best and most extensive bus networks anywhere in the world. It would be much better if the leadership of Unite actually worked with the bus companies to ensure that it remains that way rather than disrupting bus passengers."



January 14, 2015