Workplace Report March 2021

Bargaining news

Bus drivers ready to strike over pay

More than 2,200 London bus drivers are taking strike action in a dispute with RATP, the bus group owned by the French state.

The drivers, members of the Unite union, have been offered low pay offers and asked to sign new contracts which could see some of them lose up to £2,500 a year.

The strike will affect drivers from three of RATP’s subsidiaries: London United, London Sovereign and Quality Line.

Using the pandemic as an excuse, the company has asked workers from London United, which provides bus services in south and west London, to sign contracts which will cut their wages by £2,500 and reduce them to 2015 levels.

Also in dispute are drivers at Quality Line, with a depot in Epsom, Surrey, who are striking because they earn £2.50 an hour less than drivers at RATP’s other subsidiaries. They have been offered a “derisory” pay offer of 0.5% (seven pence an hour).

Unite members at London Sovereign, which operates services in north-west London, are also striking because of a pay offer of just 0.75%, which is well below what has been offered by other operators.