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From: The Socialist issue 1122, 24 February 2021: Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Search site for keywords: Bus - Pay - Low pay - London - Cuts - Drivers - Unite

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

London bus strikers February 2021, photo London SP

London bus strikers February 2021, photo London SP   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party reporters

Socialist Party members supported bus drivers' picket lines across London on 22 February. The drivers are fighting back against low pay, pay cuts, and longer hours being imposed by their employer, private bus company RATP, which is using the pandemic to get away with attacks on key workers.

Around 2,000 bus drivers are involved in the dispute at the company's subsidiaries London United, Quality Line and London Sovereign.

Due to the proposed contracts, drivers face wage cuts of 2,500 which will reduce wages to 2015 levels, and drivers will be expected to be at work for far longer.

The company has also threatened to introduce zero-hour contracts, which would result in drivers only being paid for when they are physically driving a bus and not when they are actually at work.

The Unite regional officer for RATP, Michelle Braveboy, said: "RATP has a long history of attacking one group of workers at a time, attempting to slash pay and conditions, before moving onto the next group. Our members are drawing a line in the sand with this dispute."

On the picket lines, strikers and supporters were also interested in the Socialist Party's campaign for 'socialists into city hall', during the upcoming London elections. They took leaflets from Socialist Party members to distribute.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 24 February 2021

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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