30 Mar 2010

Unite launches campaign for shorter hours

Unite has launched a campaign to shave at least an hour off the driving time of the UK’s bus drivers on grounds of safety, and with no loss of pay.
100,000 Unite members are being mobilised around a Busworkers’ Charter that puts similar demands for improvements to working conditions for all workers in the sector, including ancillary staff, such as maintenance and clerical staff, and tram workers.
Unite’s campaign is mainly aimed at bringing bus drivers into line with the rest of the European Union (EU). Ironically, UK coach and road haulage drivers currently enjoy the protection of the EU regulations.
A national ballot across the industry to determine how Unite’s members want to act has not been ruled out. The British Driving Hours Regulations currently provide for bus drivers to work for up to five and a half hours without any breaks, and up to 16 hours in a whole day. To conform to the spirit of EU regulations, Unite wants:
  • A maximum single piece of driving duty not to exceed four and a half hours
  • A maximum length of driving time of no more than eight hours in one day 
  • A maximum of ten hours total working time in any one day

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