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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 May 2010

Bus workers gear up for action

Hundreds of bus workers from East London Bus Group (ELBG) practically filled East Ham Town Hall on Thursday 13 May to attend a Unite union meeting. ELBG is one of London's biggest bus operators employing several thousand workers in east and south east London.

Union leaders said members had seen ELBG notices claiming the firm needed to save 17 million over six months or the firm would fold. But repainting of garage offices and careful tightening of aspects of health and safety suggested the company was preparing a sell-off. Already supervisors had been told their annual pay was being cut by 4,000 and their numbers could be cut by 10-20.

In recent years ELBG's workers have been the most militant London bus workers and have secured the best pay and conditions in the capital. Their dispute last year over pay and conditions has not been resolved, but three separate strike days last November had built workers' confidence.

Thursday's mass meeting had been called in advance of the next pay negotiations on 18 May. At the meeting, without dissent, the negotiating committee was instructed to call a consultative ballot for action if the bosses proposed any cuts in pay or conditions. Nobody opposed the suggestion that the action might be a week-long strike.

Workers from other London bus firms pledged support. If ELBG workers are defeated, others would follow in the "race to the bottom".

London bus worker

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In The Socialist 19 May 2010:

Action needed to save our services


Workplace news

Vote Roger Bannister in the Unison general secretary election

British Airways: Another intolerable court judgment


Youth fight for jobs

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Socialist Party election analysis

Time for the fight of our lives


Socialist Party news and analysis

Building Coventry Socialist Party after the election

Support for socialists Ian Page and Chris Flood

Packed out London meeting looks to fight against cuts

Fast news


International socialist news and analysis

Initiative for a week of European-wide protests

Italy: ControCorrente socialists support CWI

Thailand's government orders bloody crackdown on protesters

Kazakhstan: "Thanks comrades for support"

USA: Putting forward a Socialist Alternative in Seattle


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The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution by Harold Isaacs


Obituary

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Communication Workers Union conference: Hands off Royal Mail!

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Bus workers gear up for action

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