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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 January 2020

London bus drivers ballot to strike

Unite London bus drivers demonstrate outside City Hall on Thursday 29th August.  Drivers want shorter hours without loss of pay and better working conditions., photo Isai Priya

Unite London bus drivers demonstrate outside City Hall on Thursday 29th August. Drivers want shorter hours without loss of pay and better working conditions., photo Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

Exhausted bus drivers in London are planning to strike, demanding that Transport for London (TfL) take action "to tackle chronic levels of fatigue being experienced by bus drivers."

Unite the Union is starting a consultative ballot of over 20,000 members employed as London bus drivers later this month, and if a yes vote is secured, a full industrial action ballot will then follow.

Some individual bus operators have suggested that the solution is simply about ensuring drivers get more sleep!

But a survey by Loughborough University which was commissioned by TfL, and published last August, discovered that 21% of bus drivers had to 'fight sleepiness' at least two or three times a week and 17% had actually fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the past year. (See 'Unions must fight to make bus drivers and passengers safe')

We say:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 15 January 2020:


What we think

Labour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

Labour leadership race: Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer


News

Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Build for strikes to save NHS

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

Them & Us


Workplace news

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

PCS: Time to rebuild the left

Northern Ireland: Thousands of nurses continue to strike for better pay

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

London bus drivers ballot to strike

Union lawyer arrested on security guards' picket line


Campaigns

We need socialists in London's City Hall

Stop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays £64 million fossil-fuel investments

Socialist Party national committee meeting


International socialist news and analysis

Renewed protests shake Iranian leaders

France: Strike wave over pensions - Macron government in retreat


Readers' opinion

Sustainable food production and the need for socialism

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow

The Socialist Inbox


 

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