Mayor announces minimum wage for London bus drivers
London's Mayor has announced a new minimum wage of £23,000 for drivers working across all of the capital's bus companies.
Sadiq Khan, whose father was a bus driver, said he wanted a fairer deal for the workers.
He said the new professional driver wage will prevent a "race to the bottom" where competition for bus routes leads to pay for new starters reducing over time.
Where employers currently pay less, the Mayor will encourage them to work with trade unions to address any pay differences before next April.
Unite, which has held industrial action over pay differences between bus companies, welcomed the move.
Mr Khan said: "London's hard-working bus drivers keep our city moving at all times of day and night. Yet, while millions of Londoners rely upon our buses every day, for too long drivers haven't been getting a fair deal.
"Our new proposals will mean that, whichever private bus company you work for, drivers will be entitled to a minimum level of pay. It simply wasn't right that a driver with the same level of knowledge, skill and experience could get paid less simply for working on a different route or moving company.
"London's buses are an iconic and essential part of our everyday life, and our new proposals are the first step towards ensuring our professional drivers are treated fairly, and get the pay they deserve."
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "This is great news for the workers and passengers of London.
"The Mayor has honoured his commitment to introduce fair pay on London's buses and halt the race to the bottom, in stark contrast to his predecessor, who unfortunately refused to see the merits of working positively with the trade unions.
"For too long drivers with similar experience, often driving the same roads, but for different bus operators have had to endure huge variations in pay and conditions.
"Now, thanks to the hard work of Unite, Transport for London and the Mayor of London, drivers of the capital's iconic red buses can look forward to an important first step on the road to ending pay inequality and introducing a single London-wide pay structure."