London bus strikes 2024: Abellio bus company staff to strike next month

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The routes that are affected by industrial action are primarily in South and South West London.

A number of bus workers in London will take further strike action next month after rejecting a 5% pay rise offer, Unite the union has announced.

Around 40 staff who work in the control rooms for Abellio buses are set to walk out for nine days in March.

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Unite said the 5% pay increase for 2023 was a "substantial real-terms pay cut".

Control room staff, who use high-tech satellite GPS systems to monitor bus routes across London, will take part in the walkouts.

Abellio bus workers will stage a series of walkouts in MarchAbellio bus workers will stage a series of walkouts in March
Abellio bus workers will stage a series of walkouts in March | AFP via Getty Images

A Unite spokesperson said: “They already earn approximately £10,000 per year less than similar staff at other bus companies and have been offered a smaller pay increase than that offered to members doing the same job at competitor companies.”

The planned strikes come after the union members walked out on five dates in January and February.

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Controllers, managers and supervisors based at both Battersea bus garage and Twickenham bus garage are staging walkouts on March 7, 8, 9, 17, 19, 22, 27, 28 and 29.

The routes that are affected by industrial action are primarily in South and South West London.

These include the 24, 27, 111, 156, 159, 267, 285, 322, 344, 345, 415 , 490, 969, H20, H25, H26, R68 and R70

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said “Abellio has hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue from lucrative London bus contracts and yet it is trying to short-change some of its most vital staff. It needs to understand our members won’t stand for it.”

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Unite regional officer Maxine Loza said: “Abellio’s refusal to come back to the negotiating table with an improved offer will cause traffic chaos for Londoners. 

“Without these vital workers, buses don't run on time and driver and passenger safety is jeopardised. Yet by refusing to come back with an improved offer, Abellio are showing just how little they value their staff."

A spokesperson for Abellio previously said the action was "disappointing" and it had been negotiating with the union on the pay offer since April 2023.

It said drivers had been given an unconditional offer of a 5% increase in salary, back paid to January 2023, which was "in line with increases made to other groups of staff within the business".

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