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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 September 2008

London bus workers inspired by strike

The strike by First bus drivers in London on 29 August showed management that bus workers are serious about our claim for decent pay. Just as important, it's got bus workers in garage canteens across London saying: "about time too".

A London bus driver

Some garages don't even have proper canteens these days but it's definitely got us inspired. For the first time since the mid-1990s privatisation of London buses, widespread militant action seems on the cards across the capital.

Times have changed. Back in pre-privatisation London Transport days, if you failed your probation as a bus driver, they'd make you a conductor. And if you failed as a conductor, they'd put you on the Underground!

These days, tube workers are better paid than us, get better sick pay, more holidays and better conditions. It's not so much they've gone forward, but we've gone back.

Unite's London bus workers campaign is for 30,000 or 5% increase, whichever's most - across all bus firms operating for Transport for London.

This can be an important first step in rebuilding the united strength of bus workers. London bus workers working for different companies are currently balloting on equally dismal pay offers.

Together, we can confront this race to the bottom.

We say, don't give another penny to New Labour - the party that backs privatisation and bosses' attempts to keep down wages. We need a new workers' party.

We say return London buses to public ownership, but with democratic control. Take private profit out of public transport.

  • First and Metrobus workers will be on strike for 48 hours, starting on 12 September.
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    In The Socialist 10 September 2008:

    Housing Crisis: Brown has no answers


    War and occupation

    End the wars and occupations

    USA: Defying police, students walk out against the Republican national convention


    Socialist Party editorial

    US mortgage bank nationalisation - sign of deepening crisis


    Scotland

    Scotland council tax to be scrapped

    Scotland: Council pay battle at critical stage


    Socialist Party workplace news

    Workers' anger surfaces at TUC

    London bus workers inspired by strike

    Fighting for decent pensions

    In brief


    Socialism 2008

    Come to Socialism 2008!


    Socialist Party campaigns

    May Day detainees fight for justice

    No to post office closures

    Boom to bust in Cardiff Bay

    Fans pay for the success of the 'beautiful game'

    Protest against harassment!


    Socialist Students

    Fighting start to freshers fairs

    Young workers ripped off

    Bangor University students union fees referendum


    Environment and socialism

    Can we have 'the right to travel' - without adding to climate change?


    Socialist Party review

    Richard Dawkins: The genius of Charles Darwin, (Channel 4)


    International socialist news and analysis

    Thailand in grip of political deadlock


     

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