Thousands of London bus drivers are demanding the introduction of an equal pay rate. The Unite union has stated that 28,000 of its members voted by a margin of 99% in support of the motion, which would bring all of London’s operators in line.
Pay disparity for drivers working under different operators can be as much as £6000 a year, leading the unions to warn of a “race to the bottom” in wages and work conditions. The joint general secretary of Unite, Tony Woodley, has said that:
“Boris Johnson recently described London bus drivers as the “world’s finest”. If he really believes this then he needs to act quickly to end to the startling disparities in pay across London’s bus network. Our members have had enough and Unite is prepared to take all necessary steps in our fight to end these inequalities.”
A TfL spokesman replied that:
“Bus drivers are employed by private bus companies and as such pay and conditions are set by them.”
“We are sure the trade unions and bus companies will discuss pay and conditions as part of their normal negotiations.”
After temporarily weathering the RMT disputes, it will be interesting to see how Boris reacts to further conflict with unions.
A demonstration of bus drivers, engineers and supervisors is planned for the 24th of July.
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