London bus strikes called off as drivers accept new pay offer

The long-running London bus strike has concluded after bus drivers employed by London United, a subsidiary of French company RATP, voted to accept a revised pay offer.

Significant strike action

The drivers, based at seven bus depots in South and West London, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, took a total of 10 days strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Strikes scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, 7 May) and Saturday, 8 May have now been called off.

Attacks on conditions reversed

As a result of the strike action, the company withdrew all of its proposals to weaken the workers’ terms and conditions.

With regards to pay, Unite members have accepted an offer of 2.25 per cent over 2 years and a one off payment of £400 for 2020. Both the 2019 and 2020 pay increases will be backdated to the relevant anniversary date. In addition, members now have a transfer agreement that will further protect their terms and conditions when moving within the company and subsidiaries of RATP London.

Member commitment

Unite regional officer, Michelle Braveboy, said: “I want to pay tribute to Unite’s members who have stood up and been counted throughout this dispute.

“Taking strike action during the height of the pandemic was not easy for these key workers, but it was a last resort, in order to prevent RATP slashing the terms and conditions of bus drivers and cutting their pay in real terms.

“Unite had made clear from the beginning of this dispute that it believed that this could be resolved by negotiation and once RATP began to listen to members’ concerns a deal could be hammered out. 

“It is hoped that this deal will mark a new start in industrial relations with RATP, especially with the 2021 pay talks due to begin later this year.”