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Bus drivers' equal pay protest

PUBLISHED: 11:19 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:04 25 August 2010

BUS workers have marched to City Hall to demand a uniform rate of pay across all bus companies in the capital.

BUS workers have marched to City Hall to demand a uniform rate of pay across all bus companies in the capital.

Workers from bus companies running routes for Transport for London (TfL) staged the rally over disparate salaries last Thursday.

Organiser Unite the Union is calling for a single rate of pay for drivers of £30,000 a year, based on a 38-hour week.

Bus driver Jim Halford, 59, of London Road, Swanley, said: "It's ridiculous to have different rates of pay. And the pay is not enough - being a London bus driver is hard. I've been shot at twice, had a knife pulled on me, and had a woman give birth on my bus. The pay needs to reflect that."

Currently, the 18 London bus companies operate different pay structures, with pay inequalities of up to £6,000 a year. Peter Kavanagh, Unite senior regional industrial organiser, said: "If the tendering system, TfL and the employers insist on continuing with their 'race to the bottom', our members will be taking part in a race of their own - a race to the picket lines!"

A TfL spokesperson said: "Bus drivers are employed by private bus companies and as such pay and conditions are set by them. We are sure the trade union and the bus companies will discuss drivers' pay and conditions as part of their normal negotiations.

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