Friday 22 June 2012

Support the London bus strike

My Year 10 class was thin on the ground this morning as the London-wide bus strike took nearly all buses off the roads of South-East London.

Pickets at Bromley bus garage

But the determined turnout on the picket-lines that I visited before work in Catford and Bromley - and the supportive 'toots' of passing motorists - showed the support for the action amongst both drivers and the public.

This strike took place after a 94% vote for action and a last-minute refusal by the employers to come up with the money to fund a bonus for
coping with an extra 900,000 passengers during the Olympics and Paralympics. 

Yet Olympic bonus awards have already been agreed for the following workers:
Heathrow Express: £700
Network Rail: £500
Docklands Light Railway: £900
Virgin Rail: £500
London Overground: £600
London Underground: at least £850
BAA staff: up to £1,200

Outside Catford bus garage this morning
If the employers wanted to test the mood of the drivers - then today will have given them their answer. Many pickets were talking of the need to call further strike action. 

But this is just one attack of many. Today, ballot papers are on their way to NUT members across England and Wales about attacks to our pay and conditions. As Steve, a driver on the Bromley picket-line, told me this morning, "every trade union should be out on strike together"

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