Unite suspend London bus strikes following breakthrough in negotiations

Unite suspend London bus strikes following breakthrough in negotiations

- in Unite
London bus

London bus strikes that were scheduled for today were suspended after eleventh-hour negotiations produced improved offers for drivers.

The planned walkout among drivers from various London bus operators was called off after progress was made in talks aiming to resolve disputes over drivers’ pay and conditions.

Today’s strikes would have been the latest in a series of strikes by drivers in the last month and, although progress in talks is being reported, their could be more strikes in the coming weeks.

The strikes, over pay and attacks on drivers’ conditions by the French-owned bus company RATP and its three subsidiaries (London United, London Sovereign and Quality Line), were due to affect routes in North West, West and South West London.

According to Unite, negotiations in the dispute at London United “significantly moved” and will resume on Thursday, while separate talks involving London Sovereign have resulted in an improved pay offer which will be put to a ballot of workers on Friday.

Strikes at Quality Line were called off last week after members accepted an improved pay offer. Action over all three disputes began in mid-February, with workers having taken up to six days of strikes so far.

Unite regional officer Michelle Braveboy said: “Unite has been clear from the outset that we believed that these disputes could be resolved through negotiations.

“By suspending strike action Unite is allowing further talks to resolve the dispute to take place and for members to vote on an improved pay offer.

“RATP is now realising that our members will not be browbeaten and are prepared to stand up against low pay and attacks on their pay and conditions.”

Further industrial action is scheduled to go ahead next Wednesday (31 March), with Unite confirming strikes will go ahead if the talks with London United do not lead to a resolution or if London Sovereign workers reject the revised pay offer.

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