September 23, 2022

London bus drivers are the latest UK workers to strike over their pay

London bus drivers are due to strike for pay for two days this weekend. AFP

Around 1,600 drivers from the London United bus company will hold the stop on Sunday and Monday over the traditional late summer long weekend, the Unite union said.

The strike, which will only affect some of London’s famous red buses, could hamper people trying to get to the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place on both days and usually attracts up to two million people .

Unite has accused French company RATP, which owns London United, of offering drivers a “real pay cut” as part of wage negotiations.

He said the firm was proposing a 3.6% increase for 2022 and 4.2% in 2023, despite Britain’s inflation rate hitting double figures last month for the first time since 1982.

“It (the RATP) can afford to pay its workers a decent pay rise, but it refuses to do so,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

An RATP spokesman said it remained “committed to resolving the dispute as soon as possible and we urge Unite to reconsider our invitation to return to the negotiating table”.

The shutdown is the latest for public and private sector workers in the UK as the skyrocketing cost of living has led employees to seek pay rises to meet their rising bills.

London Underground and national railway staff have staged a series of walkouts in recent months, while the unrest has affected many other industries and sectors.

They range from dockworkers in Felixstowe, the country’s largest container port, and garbage collectors in Scotland, to criminal lawyers in England and Wales.

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