All Around the UK subcategories:
UK Towns and cities keywords:
London Arriva bus drivers vote for strike action over bullying and workload
Andy Beadle, former bus driver
London bus drivers have had enough! In a consultative ballot of Unite the Union members at Arriva, drivers voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.
The concern is "failure to adhere to policies and procedures and the erosion of terms and conditions without proper consultation." Basically management bullying.
Arriva operates about a fifth of London buses. Across 15 garages, drivers have voted 1,854 to 69 to back the strike.
Like other workers, many are in debt and feel obliged to work on their rest days. Drivers work five days and get two rest days each week from Saturday to Friday. Most shifts either start very early, finish very late or they are long 'middles'.
Especially in the long summer holiday period, garages have a shortage of workers and rely on overtime to cover the work. Occasionally, you see the supervisor behind the counter tearing their hair out trying to cajole a driver: "Can you do me a favour? Will you work a rest day for me?"
Drivers sometimes need a change of rest day from their rota for personal or family reasons. Most garages, most of the time, are not particularly helpful.
Some drivers requesting rest day swaps are being refused an exchange unless they agree to work a rest day. This profit-before-safety approach is just one of many bullying ways so widespread on London buses.
Ironically, Transport for London (TfL) is about to publish findings on safety concerns over the long hours culture in the industry. Without union strength, TfL could easily turn a blind eye to this or resolve it to workers' detriment in other ways.
Anti-union laws mean there are several hoops to jump through before the Arriva ballot translates into action. But this welcome news has got others asking, "why not in our garage, too?" An Arriva strike could be the spark for wider action.
11 Dec Avenue of trees saved!
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0784 114 4890
North West 07954 376 096
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551