It seems that people in Britain have to deal with more strikes than any other place on Earth. In fact, today, Jan. 13, millions of people in London are going to face travel chaos. This is due to bus drivers going on strike because they are underpaid.
This planned strike, which is set to last until the very early hours of tomorrow, is affecting 18 bus companies in London. Around 27,000 bus drivers went on strike around 4 a.m. This may not be the only strike that London bus drivers execute if their pay is not raised.
Of course, this does not mean that bus services are being stopped altogether. Transport for London said that service is a little patchy during the strike, but only around 16 percent of drivers voted in favor of going on strike. Daily commuters who have season bus tickets are advised to use these passes on DLR, Tube and London Overground routes instead.
Bus drivers say that they are not getting equal wages between bus operators in London. The union handling the strike, Unite, said that workers are losing around £3 an hour in some cases; it just really depends on what bus operator is employing them. Unite also said in a statement that was released yesterday, that around two-thirds of all Londoners are going to back this strike. This was based on a survey of around 1,645 people.
The London regional officer for Unite, Wayne King, said that London’s bus drivers are missing out on money while bus operators enjoy millions in profits. Why should the bus drivers not enjoy equal pay? Bus companies are enjoying a lottery-like salary, while drivers who do the same job are getting paid differently across the board.
King doesn’t know how many strikes are going to be needed to get the point across. A strike was their very last resort, and they were forced into this because of the bus operators’ refusal to even meet with the bus drivers. Passengers across these bus routes are paying the same fares, so why are drivers not being paid the same. The operators who are paying drivers less are making money hand over fist. Inequality is going to stop in the bus industry. All London bus workers need to be treated the same, and bus operators will soon learn that.