No to remote sign on for London bus drivers

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From Unite the Union website

Remote sign on is when bus drivers begin and end their shifts at a random bus stop or location and do not go to a bus depot before beginning their shift. Starting and finishing locations can be different.

Concerns about remote sign on

Unite is opposed to the introduction of remote sign on for the following reasons:

  • Safety – there will be no checks to ensure the driver is fit to drive a bus
  • A lack of access to toilet facilities, rest and canteen facilities
  • Drivers will be driving for a longer period every day and have increased travelling times which will increase fatigue which is linked to serious health issues, which Unite has highlighted in its sick and tired campaign
  • Drivers will be forced to wait for their bus in the cold and wet, increasing tiredness and affecting concentration levels during a long shift driving a bus
  • Greater risk of being exposed to Covid-19 in travelling to a remote location, compared to safely travelling to a depot.

Metroline next steps

London’s Metroline bus company is looking to introduce remote sign-on. – however:

  • Metroline Unite bus driver members have overwhelmingly rejected a move to remote sign on.
  • Metroline West members voted by 99 per cent to reject remote sign on.
  • Metroline Travel members voted by 98 per cent to reject remote sign on.

Unite is now going through the necessary legal hurdles before a full industrial action ballot can be held but unless Metroline withdraws its proposals, Unite members will be balloted. 

Remote sign on and other companies

Unite believes that if Metroline is able to introduce remote sign on unchallenged, then other bus operators will follow. If your bus company is considering introducing remote sign on then it is very important that you make your regional officer aware of the proposals as quickly as possible.