Bus drivers in south and west London start walkouts in run up to Christmas

Members of Unite employed by Abellio in south and west London are walking out for 10 days in the run up to Christmas.

Commuters in London will have their journeys disrupted on Tuesday as almost 1,000 bus drivers have started their series of strike action.

Members of Unite employed by Abellio in south and west London are walking out for 10 days in the run up to Christmas.

Unite says the dispute is a result of the company failing to enter into meaningful pay talks.

Bus drivers in south and west London have announced a series of strikes in the run up to Christmas

Workers’ pay is due to increase from January 2023, but Abellio has not made an initial offer, the union said.

The strike action will take place on November 22, 25, 26 and December 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio is a vastly wealthy multinational company that could and should be paying its workers a fair pay increase.

“With workers struggling to cope with rampant inflation, Abellio’s failure to even enter into meaningful pay talks is coldhearted and callous.

“Unite is now entirely focused on defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the bus drivers at Abellio will be receiving the union’s complete support.”

The bus drivers taking strike action are based at garages in Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham and Walworth.

LondonWorld has contacted Abellio for comment.

Unite members will walk out on December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 15 and 16 as part of a dispute over low pay.

The drivers taking industrial action are based at the following bus garages: Brentford, Cricklewood, Edgware, Harrow Weald, Holloway, King’s Cross, Lampton, Perivale, Potter’s Bar and Willesden.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Metroline is an exceptionally wealthy company and it is unforgivable that it is paying among the lowest driver pay rates in London.

“Rates of pay at Metroline are so low that workers simply can’t cope as the cost of living crisis continues to worsen. This is a company that can afford to pay but has chosen not to do so.

“Our bus driver members in London are receiving Unite’s complete support.”

A Metroline spokesperson said: “Under recommendation from Unite the Union, drivers at 3 of our garages have already voted to accept a substantial 10% pay increase with additional benefits.

“We are therefore deeply disappointed that Unite is now denying the very same offer that would ensure our drivers continue to be amongst the best paid in London, to all of our colleagues in other areas of the business.”