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Drivers picket bus garages as strike hits East London

PUBLISHED: 09:18 09 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:13 05 October 2010

TENS of thousands of commuters have been hit by a 24-hour bus strike across East London which began this-morning. Drivers began industrial action at 3am and are picketing garages operated by East London Bus Company at Bow, West Ham, Upton Park, Leyton, Barking and Romford

By Mike Brooke

TENS of thousands of commuters have been hit by a 24-hour bus strike across East London which began this-morning.

Drivers began industrial action at 3am and are picketing garages operated by East London Bus Company at Bow, West Ham, Upton Park, Leyton, Barking and Romford.

The routes affected are: D3, 5, 8, 15, 25, 26, 30, 48, 55, 56, 62, 69, 86, 97, 101, 103, 104, 106, 115, 145, 147, 158, 169, 175, 205, 230, 238, 241, 247, 257, 262, 276, 277, 287, 294, 296, 300, 325, 330, 366, 369, 376, 387, 396, 473, 496, 608, 647, 674, 678 and 687.

Night-time buses affected: N8, N15, N26, N55, N86 and N550.

Talks with the transport workers’ union Unite broke down on Thursday after the company imposed a pay freeze.

Union regional industrial organiser, John Griffiths, said: “Drivers will not tolerate this unacceptable behaviour. They want is to be treated fairly.”

East London Buses employs 2,600 workers, out of which 2,400 are Unite members.

The company’s chief executive Nigel Barrett said: “We are disappointed that matters have reached this stage.

“The current economic environment has an impact on our revenue and growth. In the circumstances, we are unable to offer any pay rise.”

Figures released by the company put basic pay for a five-day week from £28,000 to £31,000 a year, with drivers on the 25 bendy’ bus along Whitechapel and Mile End from Oxford Street earning above £35,000.

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