Bus Workers’ Unity and Company Offers.

1. We put in a claim across all the companies why is Unite talking to individual companies? We would much rather talk to the whole lot of them together, however if an individual employer puts on offer on the table we cannot ignore it. In fact the employers are hoping Unite will ignore these offers then they can say; ‘…unite is not interested in negotiations, and then go over the unions head writing directly to the members. This is a text book example of anti trade union behaviour. It’s designed to undermine collective bargaining and the unity of union members. If your employer genuinely wanted to end this fairly why would they try and undermine Unite? The members would be left leaderless and the employer would be in driving seat.

2.  What happens when an individual employers makes an offer?  Your union will make an assessment of the offer. Even if we think it’s an awful offer we will still make sure you know what the offer is. If we (reps convenors full time officers) believe it matches your expectations, it will be briefed back and possibly voted on we will put it to the members with a clear recommendation. The employer on the other hand will do everything and anything they can to get members to accept the deal. The key people to make sure this does not happen are the unite reps and activists. Click here to look at notes for reps and activists.

3.  What happens if members in one company vote to accept an offer less than our claim? Well if that is the case we no longer have a trade dispute with that company and those members would go back to work. However, it was agreed at the London Bus Conference, by a unanimous vote of the delegates, no-one will accept less than £500.

4.  What happens when a company honours our claim?  We would no longer have a trade dispute with that company and those members would go back to work.

5.   What would mean if either 3 & 4 happened for the rest of us? We don’t want to make any individual deals with employers but in a war (and the companies have declared war on Unite and Bus workers’.) sometimes battle plans have to change. If we have to work with individual companies we will and Unite members still win. Lets be honest, it is extremely unlikely members will vote for a deal which is less than our demand. If an employer gives us what we want we will have won for those members. For Unite it will be one down and focus on the rest until they’ve all paid.  Resources will be freed up and we will pile on the pressure to the hold out companies. The key to all of this is the unity of the members and it is the job of Unite reps and activists to make sure that unity is maintained.

6.  What negotiations have taken place between Unite and the Companies? All through this campaign Unite has time and again asked the companies TFL and the Mayor to talk to us (click here to see the timeline of the dispute). Apart from the silly offer when we met at ACASS, which was meant for the media they have refused to sit down with your union. If they do and wish to negotiate we will be more then willing to do so. However weather it is one company or the bunch of them anything we offer will be taken back to be discussed and voted on my the membership.

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