Workers on London's buses are to strike for 24 hours in a dispute over pay on Friday (September 22).

More than 400 members of the Unite union have agreed to the industrial action, including bus station controllers, network traffic controllers, infrastructure controllers, revenue protection inspectors and road transport enforcement officers.

Unite argues that the staff who work in TfL's CentreComm control centre have not been given a "decent pay rise", with an initial offering of £250, equivalent to £4.80 a week.

Following talks between Unite and TfL at the dispute resolution centre Acas, the figure rose to £350, which the union says is still the worst of all TfL workers.

While drivers are not striking, the staff are responsible for the smooth running of London's vast bus network to get around traffic and in emergencies.

The strikes are an extension of the 48-hour strike held over the August Bank Holiday.

Unite alleges that during the strike drivers were told not to make "code-blue" calls when there are traffic light failures fare disputes and vehicles blocking roads, which affect their ability to do their jobs.

The CommCentre was dealing with "code-red" calls for emergencies involving violence and fatalities.

Friday's strike will go ahead from 12.01am for 24 hours unless last-ditch talks on Wednesday (September 20) result in an improved offer, Unite warned.

Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said: “Our members undertake highly responsible work and they are not going to accept an offer which amounts to a one off bung and means that their pay and pensions are being cut in real terms.

“TfL management needs to put forward a realistic offer which takes into account the concerns and the efforts of our members.

“The strike will undoubtedly be disruptive to London commuters but this action is a direct result of TfL repeatedly failing to come forward with a fair deal for our members.”

Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus operations, said: “We made a revised offer to staff at the conciliation service ACAS in a bid to resolve the dispute.

"This offer is fair, maintains pay and conditions, brings salaries in line with similar roles and reflects the tough financial environment in which we operate.

"Discussions have been underway for the past 13 months and we remain open for talks.

"We are putting plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to bus services on Friday should the strike action go ahead.”

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