Bus workers in London to join one-day stoppage

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The Independent Online
LONDON could virtually grind to a halt next Friday after the capital's bus workers yesterday decided to join British Rail staff and miners in a 24-hour stoppage.

The decision by the bus section of the Transport and General Workers' Union means that travellers in London will be worst hit by the national day of protest. Ken Fuller, a district TGWU officer, insisted the union had not been in touch with the miners or the railway workers, although he said the similarity between the disputes was becoming more apparent.

All three sets of workers were protesting over job losses in preparation for privatisation, Mr Fuller said. With the announcement that a further 30 routes would be put out to tender, jobs, garages and even companies were at stake. The bus workers' third 24-hour strike is also in protest at wage cuts imposed in preparation for privatisation.

A spokesman for London Bus said he expected about half the routes to run. South London services would be worst hit while the timetable in east and west London should be unaffected and north London services would be 'patchy'.

He said that all but about 20 of the company's 7,000 employees affected by the dispute had signed new contracts under which they would lose about pounds 30 a week for working four hours longer. 'This strike won't achieve anything. It simply means that employees will lose another day's pay . . .'