Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/548/6404
Pickets cheer in West London
At 7.45 am, Socialist Party members in west London went down to Westbourne Park bus garage to show solidarity with the First bus drivers on strike for better pay. Over 150 pickets thronged the pavement outside the garage in a confident mood.
Kevin Simpson, West London Socialist Party
One of them said: "This is about showing management that we have power and we will use it to make them listen to us." As he said this yet another car driver hooted their support and all 150 cheered in unison.
As we walked up to the picket line, one of the drivers who was on the megaphone immediately asked one of us, who is a Shelter housing charity worker, to speak to the strikers. They all stopped talking and gathered round when they heard about the Shelter strike against pay cuts and downgrading. Strikers cheered to hear that other workers in struggle were sending solidarity greetings to the bus workers.
Strikers told us that they were angry that at a time when fuel bills are climbing upwards every day, management are telling them to tighten their belts while loosening their own.
"Their wages aren't cut - they just keep on going up", said one striker. The strikers explained that only seven buses had gone out of the garage - out of 900 that normally work from there. As we stood there we heard that one of the drivers had been assaulted by an angry member of the public who had not known about the strike.
By the end of the day none of the buses were working.
It was clear that bus drivers at this garage will go on strike again if they have to - they aren't in the mood to give up now.
In The Socialist 17 September 2008:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Labour Party conference protest
Privatisation and closure
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review