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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 April 2021

Thousands of London bus workers strike across multiple companies

London bus strikers February 2021, photo London SP

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

4,000 London bus drivers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over remote sign-on policy. 96% of Unite members at Metroline West and 97% at Metroline Travel voted for industrial action on routes in north and west London. Strike dates will be announced soon.

Remote sign-on means drivers do not report to a depot to start work, but meet their bus and begin work at an alternative location such as a bus stop. Remote sign-on forces drivers to start work away from the depot, reducing costs and boosting the company's profits.

Metroline has only "paused" its introduction of the practice. Unite points out that forcing drivers to start work away from depots is designed to reduce costs, with staff also facing a lack of toilet and canteen access, increased working hours and waiting for buses in unpredictable weather.

Regional Unite officer Mary Summers said it was "very disappointing" that the company had not ruled out introducing the policy: "London bus drivers have delivered a massive mandate for strike action. This unpopular policy should be jettisoned immediately," she demanded.

Meanwhile in west and south London, bus drivers for outsourced bus operating company RATP on the London United fleet have been striking over attacks on pay and conditions.

Stamford Brook and Hounslow Heath garages have voted to join the strike, meaning all seven of London United's garages are on strike.

The strike is over bosses' plans to cut pay despite the company having an annual turnover of over 4.3 billion.

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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 14 April 2021:


Covid-19

'Covid passports' discriminatory and questionable - fight for workplace safety

Covid inquiry? Workers must decide


News

Tensions escalate in Northern Ireland

How to deal with the tax-dodging mega-rich? Nationalise!

NHS pay: reject Tories' miserly 1% 'offer' - Fight for full 15% rise

Amazon - union vote lost

Tory hypocrisy over housing benefit cut

US cops shoot dead another black man


Elections

Every voter in Wales has the opportunity to vote for TUSC

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

London housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back


Workplace news

PCS elections: Support the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

St Mungo's maintenance workers on indefinite strike

Thousands of London bus workers strike across multiple companies

Rally for sacked RMT rep Declan

East London cleaners fight outsourcing and redundancies

Bristol Water workers walk out

SPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

Thurrock Council workers strike against pay cuts

Deliveroo workers strike and protest


Lessons from history

1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism


Campaigns news

Youth under attack

Students in action: Protest on 21 April

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Cardiff: Hundreds protest to free Siyanda

Worcester: Kill the Bill

Fighting fund target smashed. Can we do it again?


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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