Long-running Abellio dispute ends in pay offer
An industrial dispute involving over 1,800 bus drivers employed by Abellio in London has ended after workers accepted an improved pay offer. The dispute started in November 2022, when bus drivers employed by Abellio in south and west London announced ten days of strike action.
Following a workplace ballot, the workers, who are members of trade union Unite, have accepted a pay increase that will see drivers with over two years’ service being paid £18 an hour. This equates to a pay increase of 18% on the basic rate.
The agreement includes increases to all rates including overtime and rest day working. Negotiations over the last few weeks also saw an increase to the rate for new starters and increased rates for Saturday/Sunday working. The union also won £18 per hour for drivers who transferred to Abellio under TUPE legislation and had not previously been made the offer.
The workforce took over 20 days of strike action in the run-up to securing the pay increase.
“We are proud that this makes us one of the highest paying operators in London with a new starter salary of c£32,000 moving to c£40,000 after two-years’ service” – Abellio
A spokesperson from Abellio London said: “We are delighted that our drivers have now accepted the substantial pay rise we put in place in early January. This will see an increase in pay for all of our drivers, with a base rate rise of as much as 18% for some grades, equating to around £100 per week increase. We are proud that this makes us one of the highest paying operators in London with a new starter salary of c£32,000 moving to c£40,000 after two-years’ service. It was disappointing that strikes unnecessarily continued into February despite this fantastic offer being made at the beginning of the year.
“It brings to an end a difficult period of industrial action which has been tough for the company, our drivers and our customers. With the issue now settled we look forward to continuing to offer Londoners outstanding service on our routes while making innovations on sustainable public transport.”
“Unite’s constant focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members is continuing to deliver increased pay awards for workers” – Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “This is an important pay victory. Workers have stood firm and with the support of their union, Unite, they have secured a richly deserved pay increase.
“Unite’s constant focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members is continuing to deliver increased pay awards for workers.”
Crucially, a commitment to immediately negotiate a new scheduling agreement was also secured, including early agreement regarding scheduling rest breaks and start times in order to bring the dispute to an end.
In addition to the pay increase, the union’s campaign has resulted in one of Unite’s reps being reinstated after they had initially been dismissed on trumped up charges. The union had made clear that there would be no resolution to the dispute without the reinstatement of the rep.