This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
Five days of strike action on London’s buses were announced by the Unite union today.
The action, in response to Metroline failing to permanently drop its “remote sign-on” policy, is expected to cause serious disruption to services.
The union confirmed that there will be 48 hours of walkouts by more than 4,000 bus drivers in the north and west of the capital between May 25 and 26, followed by a 72-hour strike from June 7 to 9.
It comes after 96 per cent of Metroline West and 97 per cent of Metroline Travel members voted to take industrial action last month.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has instructed Transport for London (TfL) bosses to introduce an immediate moratorium on “remote sign on,” but the bus company is yet to commit to scrapping the policy in the long term.
The practice involves drivers not reporting to a depot but meeting their bus elsewhere, such as a bus stop, reducing costs and boosting company profits.
Unite warned that the policy raises concerns over lack of access to toilets and increased working hours for drivers while delivering no benefit to passengers.
Regional officer Mary Summers said: “Unite wrote to Metroline’s managing director Stephen Harris last month to give a generous and reasonable timeframe for the company to reconsider its position.
“We are sorry for the disruption to the travelling public that strikes will cause, [but] we firmly believe that the health and safety of our members [is] paramount.”
“Unite’s door is open for a constructive dialogue with Metroline before strike action begins and we urge them to take up that opportunity.”
A Transport for London spokesperson said: “We are commissioning an independent review into remote sign on to ensure that the impacts of any change are fully understood by all parties. We are pleased that Metroline has chosen to pause the introduction of remote sign on while the review takes place and we urge all parties to focus on working with us to assess the findings and resolve this issue.”
A Metroline spokesperson said: “Unite’s claims about 'remote sign on' are factually wrong.
"We have always been clear that it would be available to less than 1 per cent of our entire workforce. It is safe, voluntary and would only be implemented at locations with suitable facilities.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.