Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1099/31274
From The Socialist newspaper, 2 September 2020
London bus drivers poised for strike action
photo Graham Richardson/CC (Click to enlarge)
The Unite union is in the process of preparing to formally ballot all its bus drivers employed by Singapore-owned Metroline in a dispute over 'remote signing on'.
Unite describes this as a huge "experiment with the capital's vital transport system", and designed for profits not passengers.
Affected workers have described the proposals as a massive "slap in the face" to drivers who are still recovering from the pandemic in which 29 drivers died, and many more are still unable to return to work due to the debilitating effects of the illness.
Unite represents more than 4,000 drivers at the company (16% of all London bus drivers), which dominates routes in the north and the west of London.
By introducing remote signing on, drivers would not report to a depot but would meet their bus and begin work at a location such as a bus stop.
Unite is opposed to remote signing on because of the following:
- Safety. There will be no checks to ensure the driver is fit and well to drive a bus
- Lack of access to toilet facilities, rest and canteen facilities
- Drivers will be forced to wait for their bus to arrive in all weathers, potentially harming their health and ability to drive a bus over a long shift
- Greater risk of exposure to Covid-19 in travelling to a location which has not been subject to the risk assessment and health measures
- Increase in the dangers of fatigue as drivers will be subjected to higher travelling time
- The lack of a back-up. If a driver is delayed or a bus is not operational, then at a depot there is always alternative options to provide passenger transport
In a consultative ballot at both Metroline companies, Unite members recorded a 99.2% vote in favour of industrial action at Metroline West and 97.8% at Metroline Travel.
Unite is now in the process of organising a full industrial action ballot, and if a settlement isn't reached strikes could begin this autumn.
Donate to the Socialist Party
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 2 September 2020:
Tory schools chaos - unions must fight for safety
Eviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!
Don't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts
News in brief
Disability and Covid
Capitalism cause of disproportionate disabled deaths and isolation
No going back series
Welfare after Covid-19
Demand a fightback from the TUC and unions
Tate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"
B&Q worker reinstated: Organised response successfully challenges unfair dismissal
West Midlands journalists strike against pay and job cuts
Support Ikea workers - reinstate Richie Venton
London bus drivers poised for strike action
Join the socialists
Socialism on the rise
Fight racism, Trump and capitalism
Mass protests in Israel demand Netanyahu's resignation
Trotsky online rally - watched across the world
No Covid penalty on our future
Black Lives Matter: Fighting injustice, fighting for our rights
Nottingham: Socialists and anti-racists oppose right-wing march
No to polluting incinerator, dumped in working-class Edmonton
Scrap hospital parking charges
Liverpool: Support 15% pay rise for NHS
Lincoln: Save Drill Hall
Fundraising: An example to follow
TV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq
Manctopia: billion pound property boom
The Socialist 2 September 2020 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Email: [email protected]
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 075 4018 9052
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 077 7221 5281
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793