New wave of strikes to hit south west London bus services

Image: Abellio buses

Eight days of bus strikes to take place starting 8 May

Bus company staff in London are to escalate strike action this month since their employer has boe made an improved pay offer, according to Unite the Union.

Around 40 staff who work in the control rooms for Transport UK buses (previously known as Abellio) who control the bus routes, instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents and ensure overall safety on the routes, are to take a further eight days of action from 8-10 May and from 13-17 May.

Control room staff, who use high-tech satellite GPS systems to monitor bus routes across London, have been offered a five per cent pay increase for 2023 by Transport UK, a substantial real terms pay cut, as inflation stood at 13.4 per cent last January when the pay rise was due.

The workers already earn approximately £10,000 per year less than staff doing similar jobs at other bus companies and have been offered a smaller pay increase than that offered to control staff doing the same job at competitor companies.

The routes affected by industrial action are primarily in South and South West London and include: 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:

“Transport UK 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.”

Unite regional officer Maxine Loza said:

“Transport UK’s refusal to deliver a vastly 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, Transport UK are showing just how little they value their staff.”