Bus group sale job fears

PUBLISHED: 12:39 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:02 25 August 2010

BUS drivers and union bosses have told of a huge fear for their future after a bus company was put up for sale by its Australian owners.

BUS drivers and union bosses have told of a 'huge fear' for their future after a bus company was put up for sale by its Australian owners.

The East London Bus Group (ELBG), parent company of Selkent, which runs bus garages in Plumstead and Catford, confirmed last Wednesday the business had been put up for sale as the wage cost at the firm was 'unsustainable'. Officials from union Unite have backed drivers who fear their jobs won't be secure after a sale.

John Griffiths, Unite regional officer, said: "Our huge fear is for the many thousands of loyal workers at the ELBG and Unite is calling for a swift resolution to end the uncertainty that our members face. Our members carry millions of passengers everyday and keep this city moving.

"Why should they be penalised as a result of this anarchic system, and by an operator that has made a fast buck, that is now bailing out."

Selkent, together with ELBG, employs some 4,500 staff - most

of whom are drivers.

One Bromley depot driver, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said: "There is a lot of concern among the drivers down here, we are very worried.

"A notice was put up last Tuesday saying that ELBG was up for sale as its wages are uncompetitive, but it's no good blaming us."

The anxious driver added: "They haven't mentioned anything about jobs safety, but we have youngsters here in their 30s with mortgages to pay."

More than 2,000 drivers from the bus group took part in a three-day walkout over a proposed pay freeze last November.

ELBG was bought from Stagecoach by a consortium led by Australian investment bank Macquarie in 2006.

Gareth David, Partner from College Hill, which represents ELBG, said: "This decision is as a result of a review by the new chief executive.

"There have been issues and we have acknowledged that wage costs are relatively high. We have now got to the point where these issues have to be addressed.

"It will take some time, maybe two or three months, and nothing is going to come up very quickly.


Latest Bexley news

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christmas 2018 and the Northern Lights are welcomed to Bexleyheath on Saturday, November 17 with a spectacular mix of music and dance from stilt walkers to bhangra dancers, and acoustic artists to fire shows.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Now back from recording the second series of All Together Now, Brit School teacher and Bromley local Georg Tormann is now warming up for Christmas with his Beckenham-based choir.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Bexley artist has raised her concerns that a revamp of Hall Place will see the death of the art scene in the area.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wildlife enthusiasts are calling for “embarrassing” fly-tipping that is blighting marshland in Bexley to be cleared up.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas expressed concerns that an energy park in Bexley will lead to “toxic fumes” billowing across the Thames to the Rainham and Beam Park development area.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Bexleyheath pub will be offering free gin and tonic today, in exchange for a very unusual currency - cake.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cash-strapped Bexley schools have been writing to parents asking for money for supplies, according to a councillor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford David Evennett was the guest of honour and speaker at an Armistice and Remembrance Commemoration held at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club on Sunday (November 11).

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24