Bus passengers will have had a tougher journey to work today, but seem to have remained sympathetic to the bus workers' action for three reasons:
- People know that bus workers will go unpaid for taking action. Strike action is always the last resort and it is a very difficult decision to take action and lose income;
- People are aware of the cost of living crisis affecting workers across London. Hundreds of people in work living in Southwark alone are using foodbanks - across London the figures are shameful; and
- Unions involved have been ensured that responsibility is clear. The strike was avoidable if bus operators had agreed to meet.
Unite commissioned an independent survey of bus passengers at a range of London stations. Two thirds of the people polled backed the bus workers’ campaign to end unfair pay disparities and secure an agreement for pay and conditions across London’s 18 bus operators.
The operators' combined profits reach almost £172 million. No one should begrudge profit, but it has arrived at the same time some operators have driven down pay, refused to meet unions to discuss conditions and whilst Boris has hiked passengers' fares.
For fairness, for the bus workers losing out today, and for passengers it is vital the operators meet unions ASAP.