Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/412/4691

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 October 2005

London bus workers reject pay offer

SEVENTY PERCENT of TGWU drivers at London General buses voted for industrial action in a ballot on 14 October. Overall, workers at the five garages at the south-west London firm voted by 618 to 270 for action.

A London bus driver

This result follows two previous ballots where the garage reps recommended acceptance of a two-year pay deal. The first time members rejected it by 96 votes. Then members were re-balloted because it was felt they had not understood the offer. The second rejection was by 429 votes!

London General is owned by public transport conglomerate Go-Ahead, which also owns London Central buses. Pay for all London bus workers was slashed before privatisation in the mid-1990s. But London General workers fell further behind their colleagues after a management buyout and before Go-Ahead took over.

Now London General drivers are around 35 a week worse off than their brothers and sisters at London Central - who in turn are about 50 behind Stagecoach.

This explains the growing mood of anger, especially at the bigger garages, Merton and Stockwell. The two-year offer represented a rise of about 24 a week the first year and less the second.

Whilst these figures won't seem bad to some workers, London bus workers have seen significant increases in recent years, although they're still well below the standards of the 1970-1980s. Bus firms have anticipated the growing revolt and have passed on a fraction of their huge state subsidy to stave off the inevitable.

After the second rejection of the two-year offer, management effectively imposed a slightly worse one-year arrangement. This has undermined the cosy relationship between the company and union, which has existed for years. The union has been forced to stand up to this aggression, which is only a continuation of the bullying management style bus workers face every day.

A huge contradiction exists in the London bus industry. On the one hand TGWU membership stands at around 90%. On the other is the lack of active participation in the union, coupled with constant grumbling about the job in garage canteens. After a long period of peaceful co-existence between bosses and workers (apparent, not real) things could be starting to change.

Meanwhile at London Central this week, drivers are re-balloting on their deal after turning it down by a single vote recently. Central and General between them run around one in six of the capital's red buses. This work is concentrated south of the Thames.

Our problem is with management, not with our passengers. Although most of our passengers may never seem to notice us, south Londoners certainly will notice if we're not there.


Stoke bus drivers' strike

FOUR HUNDRED First Bus drivers, members of the TGWU, staged their second 24-hour strike across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire on 14 October. Again it was solid and not one bus moved.

Andy Bentley

The strike took place after the company's latest "substantially improved offer" was rejected. Drivers were offered the 8 an hour that they are demanding but not until November 2006. They would also lose 400 back pay and face a 35 a week pay cut through changes in rosters!

This "offer" has incensed drivers on the picket line and has only strengthened their determination to increase the pressure on First Bus bosses. Further strikes will go ahead on 22 and 24 October and the following Saturday and Monday.

First Bus say that they cannot afford to pay 8 an hour but they are losing around 100,000 every strike day. Workers on the picket line are rightly demanding to know why they should be paid less than drivers in other parts of the country. 1.5 billion of public money is being used to subsidise private bus companies every year.

If First Bus are so certain they can't afford to pay up, they should open their books to show workers where all the profits are going.

Privatisation has resulted only in enriching the new bus company owners and their shareholders, whilst the service has deteriorated.

Before privatisation, bus drivers earned 7% above the average male earnings, now they are 13 % below it. As a result of low wages, anti-social shift patterns and worsening conditions, there is a huge shortage of drivers.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 20 October 2005:

Take over the drug companies

Health service... condition critical!

Government climbs down but questions still remain

Courts fail to tackle rail dangers

Come to Socialism 2005 - defend democratic rights

Students are searching for a socialist alternative

Sleepwalking to segregation?

Poorest areas of towns and villages suffer most

Iraq: Women's rights pushed back

Strong solidarity action against Connex union-busting

Challenging 'partnership'

London bus workers reject pay offer


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 October 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Bus workers:

triangleLondon Buses safety campaign

triangleBus safety: we won't be distracted from public ownership

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleSolid bus strike for better terms and pay

triangleAthens bus workers clean up

Strike:

triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

Pay:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleWhat we saw

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

London:

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2