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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 May 2021

Metroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'

London bus workers protesting outside City Hall, 29.8.19, photo Isai Priya

London bus workers protesting outside City Hall, 29.8.19, photo Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

Unite has told London bus operator Metroline it has until 10 May to permanently drop its 'remote sign-on' policy - or it will face a summer of strikes.

A rolling programme of strikes by more than 4,000 bus drivers could take place in north and west London.

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. This reduces costs and boosts the company's profits.

In a letter to Metroline's managing director Stephen Harris, Unite's Mary Summers said: "Our members have made clear that they do not want remote sign-on - full stop. We are asking that the employer now confirms that remote sign-on will not be implemented. This is what is required to prevent industrial action. We will need to have this confirmed by the employer by 10 May."

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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.

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