Bus drivers in London began a 24-hour strike this morning in a dispute over pay.
It is first of three walk-outs which have been planned for February. The others will occur on February 13 and February 16.
The dispute follows the January strike which caused significant disruption.
Drivers and Unite union are clashing with the companies who operate London’s buses over pay and working conditions. Presently, the 18 operators who run London’s buses all pay staff different amounts, even when drivers work similar routes. There are 80 different pay rates and wages vary from £9.30 an hour to £12.34.
Unite union said: “Passengers sitting side by side on the same route expect to pay the same fare, so why shouldn’t drivers expect to be paid the same rate?”
However, Conservative member of the London Assembly Andrew Boff told London Live that drivers are not obliged to work for the companies paying lower wages and are free to swap jobs should they wish.
Bus companies impacted by the strike include: Abellio (Abellio London and Abellio West London); Arriva (Arriva North and Arriva South); CT Plus (Hackney Community Transport); Go Ahead (Blue Triangle, Docklands, London General, London Central, Metrobus); London Sovereign, London United, Metroline (Metroline and Metroline West); Stagecoach (East London Bus & Coach Company, Selkent) and Tower Transit.
London Lives's Reya El-Salahi met with Steve O'Rourke from The London Bus Conference on the picket line, at the Holloway Bus Depot.