North London bus workers strike today!

Unite bus workers taking action at the Lea Valley interchange
Unite bus workers taking action at the Lea Valley interchange

Over 2,000 bus drivers from nine garages across north London will take 24-hour strike action from 3am today following Arriva North’s decision not to award workers a percentage pay increase this year despite massive profits.

DB Group which owns Arriva PLC made £853.6 million in profit before tax in the half year to 30 June this year.

93 per cent of the drivers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.

The drivers are already in their second year of a pay freeze and from April next year the workers will enter a third year of pay freezes.

Workers at the majority of London’s bus operators have received increases this year as have TfL (Transport for London) staff across London.

Arriva North, the biggest single operator in London, attempted to prevent the legitimate strike through court action, but was forced to drop its case, following a defence of the workers’ ballot by Unite’s legal team.

One in 10 bus routes will be affected with the strike affecting north London but also a number of routes into central London, including the 29, 38, 73, 149 and 243.

Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said: ‘Christmas is approaching in one of the most expensive cities in the world and London’s biggest single bus operator is rewarding its drivers with a second year of percentage pay freezes.

‘Arriva’s owners have made hundreds of millions in profits this year, so it’s no wonder staff are taking strike action against their Scrooge employer.’

He added: ‘The blame for this dispute lies squarely with Arriva North and we urge the company to negotiate a fair deal or face further action.’

There will be pickets at all garages affected: Ash Grove: Mare Street, South Hackney, London E8 4RH, Barking: Ripple Road, Barking, IG11, Clapton: 15 Bohemia Place, Mare Street, London E8 1DU, Enfield: Southbury Road, Ponders End EN3 4HX, Lee Valley Garage: Leeside Road, Tottenham, London N17 0SG, Palmers Green: Regents Avenue, London N13 5UR, Stamford Hill: Rookwood Road, London N16 6SS, Tottenham: Philip Lane, High Cross, London N15 4JB, Wood Green: Jolly Butchers Hill, High Road, London N22 7TZ.