Bus drivers have been urged to suspend a series of strikes which are expected to cause widespread disruption to passengers.
Members of Unite the Union are due to strike for 24 hours on Thursday 5 February, Friday 13 February and Monday 16 February in a row with bus operators over pay.
Tomorrow’s strike will affect services operated by the following companies:
• Abellio (Abellio London and Abellio West London);
• Arriva (Arriva North and Arriva South);
• CT Plus (Hackney Community Transport);
• Go Ahead (Blue Triangle, Docklands, London General, London Central, Metrobus);
• London Sovereign;
• London United;
• Metroline (Metroline and Metroline West);
• Stagecoach (East London Bus & Coach Company, Selkent);
• Tower Transit.
The union wants all drivers across the capital to be paid a flat rate, despite them being employed by a range of employers who compete both for bus routes and staff.
Unite regional officer Wayne King said: “We firmly believe that there is a simple solution to be had but sadly the refusal by the operators to engage in collective talks is risking the inevitable disruption that strike action will bring to passengers.
“The travelling public understand that further strike action is the last resort and can be avoided if the operators agree to talk collectively about the pay chaos on London’s buses.
“Bus passengers pay one fare, so why don’t bus drivers get paid the same rate for doing the same job?
“We urge London’s bus operators to see sense and collectively engage in talks to give London’s bus workers a fair deal.”
However bosses at Transport for London, which regulates bus services in London, says there are doubts as to the legality of a collective pay deal and says varying pay rates allow operators to reward experience and reflect the different skills drivers have.
Today TfL claimed “the additional costs of paying a uniform rate to all bus drivers would inevitably mean higher fares and reduced services for passengers and fewer jobs for drivers.”
Passengers are advised to check www.tfl.gov.uk/buses for up-to-date information on route availability or to use other transport options.