18 Jan 2012

Sovereign pay offer rejected

Drivers at London Sovereign have rejected a below inflation pay offer. Drivers at the Harrow and Edgware garages in north west London voted 105 to 21 against the offer on Friday of last week. The rejection is a step forward for workers in their long running pay dispute. Sovereign bus drivers are the worst paid in London.  
Last year’s pay negotiations ended messily. Management tried to impose a rejected 2 percent deal by getting drivers to sign up as individuals. The Unite union cancelled a ballot as a result. But the latest result shows that workers at the two garages want to step up the fight. They rejected an attempt to extend the current 2 percent deal from July to December and rejected a 3.1 percent pay increase over the 12 months starting from December.  
Robert Laird, Unite rep at Edgware, told Socialist Worker, “To have an extended deal would have been pretty awful. It would have diluted the 2 percent even further.” The “anniversary date” for the next pay settlement now reverts to July. Drivers will be meeting shortly to discuss the next steps in their campaign.

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