The London Bus Rank-and-File Committee was founded on Sunday September 13, 2020 to organise bus workers independently of the unions for a fightback against unsafe exposure to COVID-19 and unlivable pay and working conditions. It urges a fightback on the following principles:
1. Unity is strength! The attacks on bus workers are part of a broader assault and can only be defeated on that basis. This month’s strikes on the London Underground and railways must be expanded to encompass bus drivers and engineers in a single fight. The demand must be raised for the complete withdrawal of the Johnson-Khan bail-out measures and Great British Railways privatisation plan. This fight must be developed as part of an international strategy, calling for united action by transport workers across Europe and America who are coming into struggle.
2. Money for transport, not profit and war! All workers must reject the lying claim that there is “no money” for decent wages, pensions or affordable fares. London is a playground for the billionaires, whose wealth has soared during the pandemic, while Johnson and his cabinet of maniacs are funnelling billions into NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine. The income of the top 250 richest people in Britain should be taxed 100 percent and the transport companies expropriated and placed under workers’ control so their wealth can be used for socially useful purposes.
3. Break the grip of the pro-company trade unions! Form rank-and-file committees: To organise a fightback workers need to break the grip of pro-company trade unions that work with the government and build their own rank-and-file committees, controlled by and for workers. While Unite openly suppresses action, the rail unions are using the threat of strikes to reach a deal with Johnson, Khan and the private operators, with the RMT insisting on May 31 that “any changes to structures, working practices, or conditions have to be agreed with our union, not imposed.” RMT and ASLEF are limiting strike action while they negotiate with Johnson’s cronies via the corporatist Rail Industry Recovery Group that was set-up to enforce the Tories’ cuts.
A network of rank-and-file committees would link workers at every depot, garage and workplace, cutting across all divisions and fighting for a strategy that prioritises the needs of the working class and society over corporate profit. We urge bus and transport workers who agree with this to contact the London Bus Rank-and-File Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org