Socialist Worker

Bus ballot plan over Olympic payments

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2297

London bus drivers could strike over the refusal of bus companies to pay or even discuss bonus payments for the Olympics.

The Unite union plans to hold a strike ballot for its 24,000 members at 15 London bus operators.

It follows a consultative ballot which delivered a 90 percent vote for action on a 50 percent turnout.

Unite is calling for bus workers to receive £500 each as a one-off payment to compensate for the massively increased workloads they will face over the Olympics.

The number of people using London’s buses will jump by 800,000 during the games, the union says.

“Despite the significant extra pressure, the operators are refusing to recognise the contribution bus workers will be making to the success of the Olympics,” said Unite’s London regional secretary Peter Kavanagh.

“London bus operators are doing passengers and their workers a huge disservice by refusing to engage with the union.”

Olympic pay for bus workers hit the headlines when Unite general secretary Len McCluskey warned of possible strikes during the games if the issue isn’t resolved.

Transport bosses on many of London’s services have already reached Olympic bonus deals with their workers.

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

But the buses and London Underground remain unresolved.

Tube bosses have failed to reach a deal with Unite or the RMT, while bus companies have refused to even talk to union reps.


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Tue 3 Apr 2012, 18:39 BST
Issue No. 2297
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