Close to 30,000 bus workers in the capital are to stage a one-day strike on 13 January over union demands for a single London-wide agreement covering pay, terms and conditions.
Unite the union said the 24 hour stoppage – involving 27,000 workers - follows the continued refusal by London’s 18 bus operators to enter into talks over the single pay framework, which is in contrast to the collective pay deal for Tube drivers.
Unite have said that the average wage for Tube drivers is around £40,000 so a 'reasonable' wage for a bus driver should be between £28,000 and £30,000.
Bus drivers in the capital have pay negotiated on a company by company basis ‘leading to pay inequality and disparities’ the union claims, with pay levels varying from £9.30 to £12.34 an hour depending on the company under more than 80 different rates.
Wayne King, London regional officer for Unite, said: ‘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.’
Transport for London (TfL) said it was ‘very disappointed’ for the disruption, the BBC reports.
The bus companies involved 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.