‘LOW PAY NO WAY’ say CT pickets

CT Plus busworkers on the picket line in East London yesterday
CT Plus busworkers on the picket line in East London yesterday

Shouts of ‘Low Pay, No Way!’ rang out at a 50-strong, lively picket of busworkers outside CT Plus garage in Hackney in east London yesterday.

This is the first of four one-day strikes. They will be striking every Friday for the next four weeks.

Strikers were furious at the management’s refusal to resolve their pay dispute and spoke up about victimisation and intimidation by the management.

Derrick Campbell, Unite branch secretary, said: ‘This is the first time we have been out on this dispute.

‘We are still in dispute concerning the 2009-10 pay settlement and they have now imposed one per cent on all salaried staff.

‘They are attempting divide-and-rule. They are offering the drivers eight pounds a week extra, which works out at 21 pence an hour.

‘The manager got a £10,000 pay rise and that equates to £193 a week extra, for just one person.

‘We are all out on strike and the workforce is strong, despite the fact that they are offering scab money – £30 for each time a worker scabs, with £150 bonus if they do all four days.

‘That is, £220 in total and they are only offering us a £418 a year bonus!

‘They can find money to set worker against worker but they can’t find money to settle our pay dispute.

‘We will be out until they come out with a sensible offer. We are not the ones being unreasonable.’

A worker who wished her name not to printed for fear of victimisation, alleged: ‘As the strike was coming up, they have been calling us individually into the office and they have been intimidating us.

‘They have tried to bribe us that, if drivers sign up for the four weeks of the strike, then we’ll get a £150 bonus for breaking the strike.

‘They tell us that, if we are a new driver on a six-month, probationary trial period, then we will not be offered a job at the end of our probation, if we join the strike.

‘Despite them trying to intimidate me, I have come out on strike because it is the right time to fight the management.

‘We have to be a strong union and we are confident that we are going to win.’