The Unite union has announced three further 24 hour bus strikes after failing to reach a resolution with operators over pay disparities.
The latest stoppages will run from 12.01 to 11:59 on 5 February, 13 February and 16 February. Unite regional officer Wayne King said:
“We firmly believe that there is a simple solution to be had but sadly the refusal by the operators to engage in collective talks is risking the inevitable disruption that strike action will bring to passengers.
“The travelling public understand that further strike action is the last resort and can be avoided if the operators agree to talk collectively about the pay chaos on London’s buses. Bus passengers pay one fare, so why don’t bus drivers get paid the same rate for doing the same job?"
Unite is urging bus operators to return to the table for talks to avert further strikes. The union argues that a lack of a collective pay deal across London's 18 bus operators has led to inequalities, with some drivers on the same routes being paid differently. Transport for London (TfL) say pushing up drivers' pay would cost around £100m per year. TfL's director of buses Mike Weston said:
"As in all professions, bus drivers have different levels of experience and it is only right that this can be reflected in pay."
A previous walkout on 13 January saw widespread disruption across London, especially at Brixton station where larger than usual crowds, twinned with escalator works, led to hordes of commuters unable to get into the station.