London bus drivers to strike this week in row over pay and conditions
More than 2,000 members of the Unite union who are employed by French-owned RATP will take action from Monday. Unite officer Michelle Braveboy said terms and conditions are being “attacked”, with some drivers facing a pay cut of GBP2,500 a year. She added that the strikes will cause “serious disruption” to services.
RATP operates three subsidiaries across the London bus network, London United, London Sovereign and Quality Line. Workers at London United, which provides bus services in south and west London, will strike for three days from Monday, while those at Quality Line, based at a depot in Epsom, Surrey, will take action on Monday and Tuesday. Unite members at London Sovereign, which runs services in north-west London, will walk out on Monday and again on March 3.
Ms Braveboy said: “Our members have no option other than to fight back against these attacks, while recognising the disruption caused. “They are reluctant to take strike action at a time of national emergency, but feel they have been pushed against the wall.” It expects 59 day routes, six 24-hour routes, six night routes and nine school routes, mainly in south west London, will be impacted by the strike.
TfL said it will ensure as many bus services run as possible but customers in west, south west and north west London and parts of Surrey and Hertfordshire are advised to check before they travel from Monday.
Normal services are expected to resume on Thursday morning. Claire Mann, director of Bus Operations at TfL, said: “Customers should check before they travel and leave more time for their journeys, while remembering the Government’s advice to continue to stay at home if they can. “We urge all parties to sit down and talk through the issues to try and resolve them as soon as possible.”
Additional reporting by PA Media.