by Berkay Kartav, London Socialist Party
Bus drivers employed by Abellio in south and west London have been on strike for 14 days, and are taking a further seven days of strike action. They are fighting for an inflation-busting pay rise.
Unite reported that Abellio made a profit of 401 million euros in 2021 alone, and yet it refuses to offer a decent pay rise for bus drivers. The money is there but it is not going into the pockets of the workers.
Socialist Party members have visited the picket lines consistently since the start of the strike. Abellio is resorting to all sorts of tactics to try to dampen the mood. Nevertheless, the mood is still strong, and the drivers are prepared to take further action if the dispute is not resolved.
London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan shares responsibility for the attacks on bus drivers’ pay. He has given the green light for the private bus companies to rake in enormous profits while driving down wages, and he’s passing on Tory cuts.
Socialist Party argues that these bus services should be immediately brought back in-house, under the democratic control of workers and service users, as part of an expanded, free-to-use and fully funded transport system. As well as improving the service, this would ensure workers get an inflation-proof pay rise, with decent terms and conditions.
- The next strike dates are 10, 12, 16, 19, 25 and 26 January