Savage London bus cuts demand serious fightback

by London Unite members

Transport for London has announced its savage plans for London’s bus services, jobs and pay. Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has shown yet again that he is incapable of standing up to Tory cuts to the TfL budget.

Leyton bus workers on the 22/06/2012 London-wide bus strike
Photo: Paul Mattsson

Inner London bus services will be cut by at least four per cent, including around 16 routes. Unite the Union has warned that jobs of bus workers, including engineers, cleaning and catering staff, will be put at risk.

Also cuts to overtime and rest-day working would mean low-paid workers, already facing the cost of living squeeze, who rely on these to survive, will be hit even harder.

This month sees the ten-year anniversary of the first all-London bus strike since the privatisation of the mid-1990s. That action, across 17 bus companies, took 85% of the fleet off the roads. The strike, and other strikes three years later, again on a London-wide scale, showed the power of bus workers when they take action together. This is needed again now.

It is essential that Unite demands the renationalisation of the London bus companies, under democratic control, as part of a publicly owned transport network in the capital.

Workers demand pay parity across London – on the best of the different rates of pay currently paid by the different companies. Similarly, the best pensions and terms and conditions.

It is vital that Unite joins with the other transport unions, particularly the RMT, whose members have already shut down the tubes this year in action against attacks on pensions and jobs.