Union Blames French Bosses for Prolonging Bus Strike

Three more days of industrial action planned in ongoing dispute

London bus drivers from Shepherd's Bush taking strike action

UPDATE: Bus strike on Monday (26 April) suspended after new offer received from RATP

Passengers in west and south west London should be braced for fresh disruption as bus drivers look set take further strike action over pay.

Drivers employed by London United plan to hold another day of industrial action this Monday (26 April) after the latest strike the previous Friday. Further strike action is also scheduled for Friday 7 May and Saturday 8 May.

If this planned strike action goes ahead, services will return to normal at 6am on Tuesday 27 April and Sunday 9 May.

London United is a subsidiary of the French owned company RATP and the drivers’ union Unite claims the dispute is a result of RATP’s failure to make a realistic offer to resolve outstanding pay claims that now date back several years.

Peace talks at the conciliation service Acas collapsed last week.

The drivers are particularly incensed that RATP’s French board is only prepared to offer a pay increase of less than one per cent for 2019, when in the same year Catherine Chardon the chief executive of the London based operation and who leads the negotiations, saw her pay increase by 54 per cent from £196,000 to £363,000.

There are seven London United bus garages taking part in the strike action: Fulwell, Hounslow, Hounslow Heath, Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush. Stamford Brook and Tolworth.

Unite officer Michelle Braveboy said, “Passengers in London are facing more disruption over the coming days due to the stubbornness of RATP’s French board.

“The London United bus drivers have not received a pay rise for three years but have continued to keep London moving during three lockdowns, risking their health to do so.

“The pay offer for 2019 is frankly pathetic and amounts to a wage cut in real terms for the company’s bus drivers. They are rightly angry that the company awarded Catherine Chardon a 54 per cent pay increase but can find less than one per cent for them.

“Since the beginning of this dispute Unite has always believed that strikes could be avoided if the company was prepared to enter into meaningful negotiations. Unite’s views haven’t changed but the stance of the French board needs to change dramatically to prevent further disruption to passenger journeys in the future.”

RATP said its offer “includes the best possible pay rise above inflation and no changes to terms and conditions”, and that its London bus operators have made losses for the last two years.

Routes Affected By The Strike

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School and night routes

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24 hour routes

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April 26, 2021