Bus Drivers' Strikes Suspended

Plans for industrial action on Friday and Monday on hold

Two days of industrial action on London's buses have been suspended. The strikes were due to take place on Friday 13th February and Monday 16th February.

The planned strikes were part of a dispute between drivers’ union Unite and the private firms which operate bus services under contract from Transport for London.

Unite is calling for a London-wide pay scale to replace the current system of separate pay deals with each operator, a call which the firms have so far rejected.

The union and some London politicians want TfL and Mayor Boris Johnson to intervene in the row but both insist the responsibility for resolving the dispute rests with the Unite and the operators.

TfL has also questioned the legality of a collective pay deal and claims the current system of varying pay rates allow operators to reward experience and reflect the different skills drivers have.

Last week a strike held as part of the same dispute meant just half of bus services operated, causing delays and disruption to thousands of Londoners.

Unite says it has now called off the new strikes and is challenging the capital’s 18 bus operators to engage in talks at the conciliation service Acas. Commenting, Unite regional officer Wayne King said:“We call on the capital’s bus operators to seize this window of opportunity and join us collectively in talks at Acas. There can be no excuses for them not to. We’ve postponed the two days of strike action in an act of goodwill and we are not asking them to break competition law by meeting us collectively. The ball is firmly in the court of London’s bus companies.

“They have a duty to London’s 6.8 million bus passengers to join us in collective talks to end the pay inequality and pay chaos on London’s buses. All we are asking for is a collective forum to discuss how we can end pay disparities over a sensible timeframe.”

February 11, 2015