London bus strike solid

June 23, 2012 at 4:33 am (Jim D, London, solidarity, Unite the union, workers)

Britain’s largest union, Unite warned of further strike action as bus workers in over 70 garages across the capital went on strike Friday over a refusal by bus operators and Transport for London (TfL) to award an Olympic payment. Strike action was solid across 17 London bus operators, as Unite members mounted picket lines across the capital bringing buses to a standstill and causing widespread disruption. Unite warned that further strike action would be bigger as it vowed to appeal an ‘anti-democratic’ court injunction preventing bus workers in three companies taking part in Friday’s action. Bus workers are furious at TfL’s and the bus operators’ continued refusal to bring them in line with every other London transport worker and reward them for the massive increase in workload during the Olympics.


  1. Innocent Abroad said,

    I am unclear exactly what the cause of the dispute is. Are the bosses saying (1) there won’t be any increase in workload, so no need for a bonus, or (2) there will be an increase in workload but we’re not going to pay you more, so there; or (3) have they conceded the principle and the dispute is about the size of the bonus?

  2. Innocent Abroad said,

    Continuation of previous comment. TfL might want to argue that they’re paying a bonus to rail workers because the tube etc is openinig for longer hours

  3. Innocent Abroad said,

    (I hate your software btw) … but the buses aren’t, and drivers are paid the same whether a bus is full or empty (please correct me if this is wrong). I think a more detailed explication of the drivers’ case – perhaps by a guest post, would be in order.

  4. Innocent Abroad said,

    One more thing. Isn’t it true that TfL are sitting on a cash mountain? (The figure I saw was £130m – of course I may misremember.) The drivers may be thinking, some of that’s mine!

  5. Jim Denham said,

    LabourStart is helping organise support:

  6. Innocent Abroad said,

    Jim, why do you choose to ignore my questions? Do you thiunk I’m a bosses’ stooge – and if so, on what evidence?

    Do you support all industrial action everywhere? If so, I presume you would have supported the dockers in 1968 who infamously marched in support of racism. Or perhaps you just think all pay claims, everywhere are always justified. Or perhaps you think a strike is like a lottery ticket – it just mightlead to the jackpot of arevolution…

  7. Jim Denham said,

    Innocent: I’m sorry for not immediately replying to your questions. To be honest I was hoping someone directly involved with the strikes (and we do have one or two such readers) would answer.

    Yes, I do support all industrial action everywhere, unless (like the Powellite dockers you refer to) the action is irredeemably reactionary. And your two further speculative points about pay claims and “the jackpot”, though facetiously worded, are actually both fairly accurate descriptions of my views.

    I note, btw, that even Boris Johnson accepts the justice of the bus workers’ case:

  8. Innocent Abroad said,

    Bless you, Jim. I agree that I was being deliverately provocative about the dockers in 1968 – although that inglorious episode in labour history is one from which we can draw important lessons.

    I now read that the Bus Operating Companies are now proposing to settle individually, which doubtless was Unite’s intention all along.

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