London bus drivers to strike over pay

London is bracing itself for strike action that could cripple the capital’s public transport system.

Around 2,500 East London bus workers will take two days of industrial action starting at 3am tomorrow (Friday) in a row over pay.

Unite claims the bus drivers are striking because they have not been offered a pay rise.

Earlier this week Unite members employed by EDF, working for London Underground, voted overhwelmingly for strike action. This afternoon, the union will also announce the result of an industrial action ballot for 2,500 First Group bus workers in London.

Steve Hart, regional secretary of Unite, said: “This union is not about bluff and bluster. We will do what is necessary to secure the decent increases that our members seek. We cannot tolerate pay freezes for these low-paid workers. Our preference is always for negotiation, but we take strike action where necessary as at East London Bus Group tomorrow.”

A Transport for London spokeswoman said: “Bus drivers are employed by private bus companies and as such pay and conditions are set by them. We are disappointed that Unite and East London Buses have failed to resolve their differences and regret the disruption caused to Londoners as a result.”

Referring to the pay offer for London Underground staff, she added: ” We have tabled a fair and affordable two-year offer to all unions which would see staff’s pay increase by 1.5% this year, and RPI+ 0.5% or 0.5% – whichever is the greater – next year.”

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