Over 40 striking bus workers picketed Stamford Hill bus garage in north London today (Thursday). The Unite union members have not had a pay rise in two years and want a 2.5 percent wage increase The strike is not just about money but also against bullying bosses. One driver told Socialist Worker, “If you even forget to sign your check sheet or touch your mirror against something, you get a caution. If you get three cautions in two years, they sack you.”
'We're never at ease'
Another driver added, “Everything is made out to be our fault. If there’s an accident, even if the police say the driver was not at fault we still get punished. “We’re never at ease. We work with fear at the back of our minds. We need to strike until they give us something acceptable.”
One driver pointed out that it takes seven years to be paid the experienced driver rate, adding “I’ve been driving for eight years and I earned more then than I do now. “We’re taking a stand, but there’s no point in doing it just once—we’ll have to strike again.”
The 24 hour strike by bus workers affects Arriva garages across north London. It was sparked by a decision by Arriva to refuse workers a pay rise this year—despite bumper profits.