London’s workers face the first bus strike for seven years today when 2,500 drivers and engineers walk out in a row over pay.
The Transport and General Workers (T&G) Union confirmed that last-minute talks with operator Metroline had failed to put more money on the table, so action affecting routes between north and central London has gone ahead.
“We have done our best to resolve our differences through negotiation but, at the end of the day, the company was unwilling to put more money on the table,” said Jim Buckley, Transport and General Workers regional industrial organiser.
An initial offer of 3% was increased through the negotiations to 4% but the union said this was rejected because it did not meet the drivers’ and engineers’ claim for a basic £11 an hour from the current £10.43.
The T&G said pay deals elsewhere across London were reaching 6%.
Further one-day strikes are anticipated on 20 and 27 November if the dispute is not resolved.
The action will cover Metroline operations out of Potters Bar, Holloway, Kings Cross, Perivale, Edgware, Cricklewood, Wembley and Willesden.