Workers at Metroline bus garages in north and north west London voted to accept a pay offer from management on Friday of last week. The vote was 56 percent to accept, 44 percent to reject.
Some garages voted by as much as 90 percent to reject, others voted by 84 percent to accept and some were split down the middle. The pay dispute has dragged on since April of last year. In December workers voted by an overwhelming 87 percent in an indicative ballot to be balloted for industrial action.
The new offer that has been accepted is a slight improvement on the initial offer—a 2 percent rise on all rates of pay from 2010 with 1.5 percent in back pay from April 2010. The Unite union asked members to reject the new offer but the discrepancy in voting across garages shows that there was not sufficient unity to win the ballot.
Some workers were not confident that the union was prepared to fight all out to win. As the dispute dragged on for ten months, workers’ confidence was whittled down.