London bus drivers will be demonstrating tomorrow (September 14) outside City Hall over the failure of Transport for London to require contractors to ensure bus drivers are treated decently at work.
The members of Unite are calling on the London Assembly and Transport for London to adopt their 10 point ‘Bill of Rights’.
The Bill of Rights is a development on the London Assembly’s own report ‘Driven to Distraction’ which found that bus workers were under considerable stress, had shortened rest breaks, were denied toilet facilities and had to work enforced overtime. The London Assembly set TfL a deadline of October 2017, to fully respond to the recommendations contained in the report. There is no indication that this deadline will be met.
Speakers at the demo include Steve Turner assistant general secretary of Unite, Sarah Hope, bus safety campaigner, Caroline Russell, London Assembly member and Jim Kelly, chair of Unite’s London and Eastern Region.
Unite’s Bill of Rights builds on the findings of the ‘Driven to Distraction’ report but in addition includes the right to drive a safe and well-maintained vehicle; the right to report safety concerns without the fear of retribution; the right when seriously ill not to be harassed into coming into work until fit to do so; the right to relevant safety training; the right to drive without being forced to answer radio messages and texts from controllers while driving; and the right to be treated with dignity and respect by employers, TfL and the public.
Unite regional officer John Murphy said, “The welfare, safety and health of bus drivers is being comprised by bus contractors and TfL who have failed to act on the Driven to Distraction report.
“Bus drivers are not going to accept the shocking conditions they currently endure which is affecting their health and wellbeing.
“Bus drivers just like any other group of workers must be treated with respect, Unite’s Bill of Rights is about basic minimum standards that any half decent company would implement without murmur.
“If TfL or individual bus contractors fail to take action to ensure these minimum standards are met then make no mistake Unite will name and shame those organisations and further action is inevitable.”
Join London bus drivers in solidarity from 9.30am tomorrow (September 14) at City Hall, SE1 2AA