Bus strikers at Bow Garage hit services on routes 8, 205 and 277 in call for equal pay

Keeping warm... strikers outside Bow Bus Garage

Keeping warm... strikers outside Bow Bus Garage - Credit: [TH Socialist Coalition]

Protesting pickets disrupted buses leaving Bow Garage in east London as crews walked out to join today’s London-wide strike for equal pay.

Pickets at Bow garage

Pickets at Bow garage - Credit: TU Socialist Coalition

Trade union activists joined the 50 drivers on the picket outside the garage in Fairfield Road, off the A11 Bow Road.

Members of Unite union are angry at some bus operators paying £3-an-hour less than others.

The union’s London regional officer Wayne King said: “Passengers pay one fare, so why don’t drivers get the same for doing the same job?”

The union is calling for collective talks involving all 18 London’s bus companies.

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Among the pickets at Bow were East End campaigners from the trade unions’ Socialist Coalition, Glyn Robbins and Hugo Pierre, who are challenging the two local MPs at May’s General Election, calling for transport to go back in public ownership.

Robbins said: “My dad was a bus driver in east London for 27 years. Privatisation was just starting when dad retired—he predicted it would lead to attacks on pay and conditions and he was right.”

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Routes affected by today’s action at Bow Garage are the 8 to Oxford Circus, 205 to Paddington and 277 Canary Wharf to Hackney.

Today’s 24-hour walkout follows last month’s action involving 20,000 transport workers. Two more strikes are on the cards next Friday, February 13, and the following Monday.

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