Bus passengers in north London face having their journey’s being severely affected later this year, as drivers ballot for industrial action. The ballot is a result of Arriva failing to make a pay offer for 2022.
Over 1,400 bus drivers, who are members of Unite will be balloted for strike action. The ballot opens on Friday 5 August and closes on Friday 26 August. If workers vote in favour of industrial action then strikes will begin next month.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Arriva is a tremendously wealthy company. Instead of siphoning its profits abroad it should be offering Arriva bus workers a fair wage. The company can pay so it is only reasonable that it should pay.
“Unite primary focus is always on defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workers at Arriva in London will receive the union’s total support until this dispute is resolved.”
The industrial action affects bus drivers based at Arriva’s Ash Grove, Barking, Clapton, Edmonton, Enfield, Palmers Green, Tottenham and Wood Green bus garages.
Arriva is hugely wealthy, it is part of German company Deutsche Bahn one of the largest transport companies in the world. In the last 10 years Deutsche Bahn has made profits of £5.9 billion. During that time it has made profits of £560 million from running UK buses. In the same timeframe Deutsche Bahn has paid £4.3 billion in dividends to its owner, the government of Germany.
Unite regional officer John Murphy added, “Unite’s members have been left with no alternative but to ballot for industrial action. Arriva should come back to the table now, armed with a decent offer. Otherwise it faces the prospect of serious strike action.”
Unite is currently involved in a continuous all out strike of Arriva members in the North West and is balloting its members at the company in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire for industrial action, as well as those working in Kent and Essex for industrial action over pay.
By Barckley Sumner