The Workers Party of Britain denounces plans by a major London bus operator to impose ‘remote signing on’ onto its drivers, to the detriment of both the drivers and the travelling public.
Metroline, which operates services in the north and west of the city, hopes to boost its profits by changing the way drivers book on for a shift. At present, they sign on at the depot, which has a number of obvious advantages.
At the depot, checks can be made to make sure the driver is okay to drive a bus and that there is access to proper toilets, canteen and rest area. If a driver is late or a bus breaks down, the depot is able to provide back-up – so long as everyone books in at the depot.
The Singapore-owned company is seemingly blind to these practical considerations, clearly more concerned with cutting corners and racking up profits for its shareholders.
Under the proposed new experiment, drivers would be expected to make their way across London to find the relevant bus stop and wait there, in all weathers, for the connecting bus. This method would increase travelling times, exhaust already hard-pressed drivers and ultimately compromise the safety of the travelling public.
Metroline drivers, who worked through the lockdown at risk of their own health, are rightly furious that the company now wants to reward them by this penny-pinching exercise in futility. Unite members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a consultative ballot.
The Workers Party of Britain salutes the stand the Metroline drivers are making and will support them in whatever action they decide to take.