Bus Services Back to Normal on Friday

But two more strikes are planned this month

Bus services in London are back to normal on Friday, February 6 following yesterday's strike - but two more strikes are planned from the end of next week.

Union Unite says there was "solid support" for the strike across the capital while TfL says 47% of services continued operating - more than the 30% which operated during the last strike in January.

Two further strikes are now planned for next Friday, February 13 and Monday February 16.

The continuing industrial action, which unions say is a last resort, is due to an ongoing dispute over different rates of pay to drivers by 18 bus operators in London. The unions said the industrial action is a last resort.

Unite says that drivers' pay currently differs by as much as £3 per hour depending on the company they work for, from £9.30 to £12.34

Wayne King, Unite regional officer, says: "We urge London’s bus operators to see sense and collectively engage in talks to give London’s bus workers a fair deal."

But TfL calls the strikes "unnecessary" and on Wednesday published an open letter from Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport, saying that bus companies pay a range of rates to reflect length of service and differing levels of knowledge and experience. Some drivers do not work late or at weekends, whereas others do. And some drive large double deck buses while others drive small single deck buses - requiring a different set of skills. Unite's demands could mean that drivers have to work on days and at times they currently don't have to.

The letter adds that each bus company has offered to meet Unite individually to try and resolve this dispute, and urges Unite to return to discussions with the individual bus companies to resolve this dispute without further disruption.

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.

February 6, 2015