Socialist Worker

Unions go for gold in London pay dispute

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2293

Len McCluskey (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

Len McCluskey (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

The Unite union has stepped up its campaign to win a £500 Olympic games bonus payment for 28,000 bus workers in London.

The union will hold a consultative ballot at the end of this month of bus workers across some 14 London bus operating companies.

“Our focus is on the operators,” Unite official Ciaran Naidoo told Socialist Worker.

The union asked Transport for London to get involved, he added, but it has refused.

Last week Unite general secretary Len McCluskey raised the prospect of industrial action during the Olympics—prompting fury from the right wing press.

London bus drivers “will be examining what leverage points we have, and the Olympics will clearly come into play”, he said.

Meanwhile the RMT union has declared a formal dispute with London Underground over the unresolved issue of Olympic payments.

The RMT is also organising an industrial action ballot across all its Transport for London workers over attempts to severely restrict staff leave during the Olympics period.

The union has concluded Olympics negotiations with a number of other transport employers.

Docklands Light Railway workers will get at least £900. London Overground workers will get £600. Network Rail workers will get £500.

Unions have also launched a campaign against Tory mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to introduce driverless trains on the tube system.

Johnson explicitly says he wants to bring in driverless trains to break tube unions—despite them being fundamentally unsafe.

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Article information

Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2293
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