London bus strike called off after new pay offer

Commuters struggled to get to work on Monday as a London Underground strike caused major disruption (Danielle Desouza/PA) (PA Wire)
Commuters struggled to get to work on Monday as a London Underground strike caused major disruption (Danielle Desouza/PA) (PA Wire)

A planned all-out strike by bus drivers in London has been suspended after a new pay offer.

Around 2,000 members of Unite employed by Arriva, based at eight depots in north London, were due to walk out next Tuesday but the union now says its members will be balloted on a new offer.

Unite regional officer Steve Stockwell said: “Following intensive negotiations a new offer has been tabled and as an act of goodwill the planned strike action has been suspended.”

The union had previously said its members would walk out indefinitely unless they were offered a pay increase in line with the RPI inflation rate of 12.3%.

The planned strike affected Arriva drivers operating from eight depots in north and east London: Ash Grove, Barking, Clapton, Edmonton, Enfield, Palmers Green, Tottenham and Wood Green.

At least 40 routes would have been affected, bringing widespread travel disruption across the capital’s bus network.

The latest move comes after months dominated by strike action with unions demanding pay rises for their members in the face of the cost of living crisis.

Rail strikes are planned for October 1, 5 and 8 threatening travel chaos for passengers though RMT general secretary Mick Lynch held out some hope of a resolution when he described his first meeting with new Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan as a “good meeting with a positive attitude”.

Other sectors hit by industrial action include higher education with about 4,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 31 colleges in England taking up to 10 days strike action over the coming weeks.

Tens of thousands of civil servants will vote in a national strike ballot when more thanthan 200,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) vote in the coming weeks on whether to strike over pay, jobs and conditions.

Meanwhile a meeting between firefighters’ leaders and employers over pay next month is a last chance to avoid a strike, a union leader warned.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is gearing up to ballot its 32,000 members for industrial action in protest at a 2% pay offer.

General secretary Matt Wrack said a meeting early in October with employers was a final opportunity to avoid strikes.