Imagine this: you are driving the 43 down the Archway Road and sitting next to you in your cab issomeone telling you how to do your job. “No, no you opened the doors too soon. No you should have braked sooner…” all the way down the HollowayRoad. This is exactly what your union, Unite is faced with, the back seat drivers of the so called unions Workers for England and Bus Workers Alliance.
We are trying to win the most important claim in the history of the privatised bus companies, with great support from every garage. But instead of supporting your pay claim these so called unions have not offered one word of support in our fight. All they have given bus workers is weasel words about how they would do it all differently. It’s easy to tell someone how to fight from the comfort of your armchair, safe and warm at home instead of being out one the picket line, where it matters.
Ask yourself this; if they are not supporting the overwhelming majority of London Bus Workers, who are they supporting? There are only two sides in this fight; ours and the employers. If they’re not on our side, they can only be on the other side!
If you don’t believe us think about this; for all Unite members involved in this campaign crunch time came, when we took strike action, we wanted maximum unity and no-one crossing the picket line. So what other unions advised their members about our strike action is important. These other so called unions rightly advise their members on the legal position; if you don’t work normally they may be sacked for secondary action. So it would seem there is nothing else their members can do except cross our picket lines? No, not really.
As all London bus workers know we’ve had our problems with the RMT over the years. But, when it matters, in a time of massive industrial dispute, this is what they have said. Look at a statement from the RMT President London Transport Region:
As far as the RMT is concerned the 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt never cross a picket line”.
I advise any members of the RMT working in the London bus industry to observe the picket lines and to safeguard your employment rights by joining Unite for the duration of the industrial dispute.
Before joining London Underground I worked as a London bus driver for 14 years and I was a loyal member of the TGWU. If I was still a bus driver I would undoubtedly be a member of Unite and would be campaigning for the Olympic bonus.
As a trade unionist I joined pickets at Wood Green Bus garage on the first day of action and I continue to offer my full support to Unite’s London bus workers in their campaign.
As you can see there is a big difference between the weasel words of a scab union and a real union.