Transport and General Workers Union hopes to still go ahead with London bus strikes

Union officials are meeting with solicitors this afternoon in a bid to get the London bus strikes back on track.

Thousands of commuters in the capital received a last minute reprieve this morning when a High Court injunction prevented 4,000 bus drivers walking out at 3am in a dispute over pensions.

The East London Bus Group secured the injunction after final talks on Friday with the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) failed to avert the strike.

Drivers are angry that the East London Bus Group, now owned by Australian investment bank Macquarie, has demanded an extra 2.5% employee contribution to its final salary scheme but has refused to increase the employer contribution by 2.7%.

The 24-hour strike was due to affect 10 bus garages across south and east London today. A further one-day strike was planned for next Monday.

Steve Linger, T&G regional industrial organiser, said: “We expect to challenge the injunction. We will speak to our solicitors this afternoon.

“Pensions are not some balance sheet issue to our members, they are deferred wages. That’s what drives us in the negotiations but the company has failed to see it and to recognise the strength of feeling on the issue.

“Of course we regret the withdrawal of services to passengers but taking strike action is both a last resort and the only way we believe the company will wake up to the fact that there is a serious problem.”

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