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More London bus strikes planned as pay talks fail

BUS drivers at London United will stage more days of strike action, the Unite union said today, after talks failed to deliver an agreement on pay and conditions.

Drivers based at seven garages in west and south-west London operated by the subsidiary of French-owned transport transnational RATP will walk out on April 23 and 26 and May 7.

The long-running dispute centres on the firm’s failure to settle Unite’s 2019 and 2020 pay claims, which the union says boils down to an attempt by RATP to boost profits at its workers’ expense — despite a global turnover in excess of €5 billion (£4.3bn).

Unite regional officer Michelle Braveboy warned that members would continue to take strike action “until RATP makes a fair and reasonable pay offer.”
 
She said: “Our members have worked throughout the pandemic, risking their health and that of their families, and frankly the offer put forward by RATP is insulting.
 
“RATP appears to have plenty of money to pay its corporate fat cats and invest in refurbishing its offices, but when it comes to paying the bus drivers who are essential to its operation, it claims the cupboard is bare.
 
“Bus drivers understand that, by going on strike, [they will cause] passengers in London [to] face substantial disruption to their journeys. but they feel that they have been left with no option as a direct result of the company’s failure to make a fair offer.
 
“Unite has always made it clear that the union is available for talks at any time, and if RATP is prepared to come forward with an offer that our members find acceptable, then strikes planned for the coming weeks can be averted.”

RATP was invited to comment.

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