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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

London bus strikers February 2021, photo London SP

London bus strikers February 2021, photo London SP   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party reporters

Socialist Party members supported bus drivers' picket lines across London on 22 February. The drivers are fighting back against low pay, pay cuts, and longer hours being imposed by their employer, private bus company RATP, which is using the pandemic to get away with attacks on key workers.

Around 2,000 bus drivers are involved in the dispute at the company's subsidiaries London United, Quality Line and London Sovereign.

Due to the proposed contracts, drivers face wage cuts of 2,500 which will reduce wages to 2015 levels, and drivers will be expected to be at work for far longer.

The company has also threatened to introduce zero-hour contracts, which would result in drivers only being paid for when they are physically driving a bus and not when they are actually at work.

The Unite regional officer for RATP, Michelle Braveboy, said: "RATP has a long history of attacking one group of workers at a time, attempting to slash pay and conditions, before moving onto the next group. Our members are drawing a line in the sand with this dispute."

On the picket lines, strikers and supporters were also interested in the Socialist Party's campaign for 'socialists into city hall', during the upcoming London elections. They took leaflets from Socialist Party members to distribute.

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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 government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • 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.
  • When the health crisis subsides, 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.
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In The Socialist 24 February 2021:


Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage


What we think

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour


News

Justice for Moyied Bashir

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run


Lessons from history

How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act


Workplace news

Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'

"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action


TUSC

Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Scottish TUSC election campaign launch

Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


Campaigns news

W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Coventry success building subscriptions

Socialist Students conference - postering

Save John Carroll Leisure Centre

Getting the Socialist out in lockdown


LGBT+ history month

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

Tories tout toilet tensions


International news

Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!


Readers' opinion

Film Review: The White Tiger

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

The Socialist Inbox


 

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