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Bus company staff in south west London are to strike this week after rejecting a poor pay offer, the union Unite confirmed today impacting the popular R68 route.

Around 40 staff who work in the control rooms for Abellio buses and who control the bus routes, instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents and ensure overall safety on the routes are to take six days of action beginning on Friday 19 January.

Control room staff, who use high-tech satellite GPS systems to monitor bus routes across London, have been offered just a five per cent pay increase for 2023 by Abellio, a substantial real terms pay cut.

They already earn approximately £10,000 per year less than similar staff at other bus companies and have been offered a smaller pay increase than that offered to members doing the same job at competitor companies.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio’s poor pay offer will bring chaos to London as our members take strike action to fight for better pay.  

“Abellio has hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue from lucrative London bus contracts and yet it is trying to short-change some of its most vital staff. It needs to understand our members won’t stand for it.” 

In its latest accounts, Abellio London registered profits of over £4 million from revenues of over £165 million.

Controllers, managers and supervisors based at both Battersea bus garage and Twickenham bus garage are staging walkouts on the following dates: 19 and 26 January and 2, 9, 16 and 23 February

Unite regional officer Maxine Loza said: “These workers provide an absolutely vital service to bus drivers and passengers. Yet Abellio is treating them with disdain with this pay offer.

“Abellio needs to come back to the table with an improved offer to avoid ruining the journeys of millions of Londoners. Abellio is to blame for this strike and they need to fix it.” 

The routes that affected by industrial action are primarily in South and South West London and include: 24, 27, 111, 156, 159, 267, 285, 322, 344, 345, 415 , 490, 969, H20, H25, H26, R68, R70



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