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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 July 2012

London buses: Drivers: "This is why we're in the union"

Paula Mitchell and Chris Newby
Hackney bus workers stopped the busses on the 22 June 2012 London-wide bus strike , photo Paul Mattsson

Hackney bus workers stopped the busses on the 22 June 2012 London-wide bus strike , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

London bus workers have shown how determined they are to win their dispute. But as we go to press bus operating companies are still refusing to pay London bus workers a 500 bonus for working during the Olympics.

Apparently an offer of 500 was made to all bus workers but only if they worked all 29 days of the Olympics and Paralympics. This is both extremely dangerous and illegal, as Unite said in rejecting the offer, particularly given the massive increase in workload they will face during this period.

Another group of transport workers has won an Olympic bonus offer of 500 - workers on Boris' bike scheme organised in the RMT union.

London bus operators are sitting on over 2 billion of profit and are set to make even more with hundreds of thousands of extra passengers during the Olympics and Paralympics.

And Transport for London top managers awarded themselves 80,000 in Olympic bonuses. But the bus drivers' campaign has been taken very seriously and support has been widely mobilised.

The strike on 22 June was followed with further protests by the bus workers, backed up by other trade unionists and campaigners. This was particularly to target the three companies which won injunctions against strike action and, crucially, to support drivers in those companies.

On Tuesday 26 June protests were held at seven garages and a bus MOT centre was blockaded. On Friday 29 June the same was done at five garages. For over an hour no buses moved at any of them!

In the words of one of the drivers: "This is fantastic, this is why we are in a union." The workers in the three companies who won the injunctions are re-balloting but in the meantime these protests build their confidence so they know they are not alone.

Socialist Party members participated in Putney and Edgware. In both places all the traffic was jammed - in Edgware even the police couldn't get through!

An inflatable rat - "TfL don't rat on drivers" - was joined by the National Shop Stewards Network banner at Edgware, while protesters sang: "You won't get me - I'm part of the Union"

Unite has announced two more official strike days: 5 and 24 July.

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In The Socialist 4 July 2012:


Socialist Party campaigns

Jail the banksters! Nationalise the banks under popular democratic control


Socialist Party NHS campaign

SAVE OUR NHS

It's our NHS - let's fight for it!

Welsh Labour's health service 'redesign' means cuts!

South London NHS: Socialist councillors said: 'Axe PFI, not our NHS'


Socialist Party feature

PCS votes to stand candidates in national elections


Socialist Party LGBT

Sexuality, austerity and socialism


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: Resisting state oppression, fighting for survival


Socialist Party workplace news

London buses: "This is why we're in the union"

Wales Shop Stewards Network conference calls for 24 hour general strike

RMT conference: Vote for one-day general strike

Essex FBU strike back at bullyboy management

Unite needs fighting socialist policies

Supporting Sheffield recycling workers

Workplace news in brief


Obituary

Obituary: Roger MacKay, a tireless fighter for socialist ideas


Socialist Party appeal

Save our server!


Youth fight for jobs

Immolation horror - we demand jobs

Leicester: Police undermined opposition to racist march

Racist and hooligan EDL invades Dewsbury

Olympic-watch

Them&Us


Socialist Party review

Various Pets Alive and Dead


 

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