London Bus staff vote to strike over workload due to the Olympics
Bus workers in London have voted to take strike action in a row over their workload during the Olympics. Nearly 40% of Unite members working for 21 bus companies voted 94% in favour of strike action. The union, which is asking for a £500 bonus, says bus workers are the only London transport staff not in line to receive an Olympics bonus payment. The Transport for London authority (TfL) has stated that the bus workers are employed by private firms who set their own pay scale.
It is speculated that there will be an additional 800,000 passengers to travel on buses during the Games. It said workers on London Underground, London Over ground; Docklands Light Railways, Network Rail and Virgin would receive between £500 to £900 in extra payments.
In May, a survey of 2,955 London bus and rail passengers commissioned by the union found that 88% were in favour of Olympic bonus pay.
"It's a disgrace that London's mayor and the bus companies have allowed this dispute to get this far"
Peter Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary for London, said: "It's a disgrace that London's mayor, Boris Johnson, and the bus companies have allowed this dispute to get this far. Our members are only asking for an extra £17 a day which will just about buy you a pint of beer and a portion of fish and chips at the Olympics. Our members want the Games to be a success but their patience has run out."
Leon Daniels, TfL's managing director of surface transport, said: "I am not surprised that 70% of London's bus drivers did not vote for strike action. That is because about 70% of London's local bus services are not affected by the Olympic Games. The whole country is really entering into the spirit of the Games and the overwhelming responsible majority are pulling out all the stops to make it a huge success. Only Unite appears to want to exploit it by adding a further multimillion-pound burden to the hard-pressed fare-payers and taxpayers of London."
Mr Daniels added that Unite had already negotiated binding deals for pay and conditions with each of the bus companies for this year, and if they think that they will be able to re agree terms and have all the paperwork completed in less than 50 days they are sadly mistaken. This just demonstrates again the importance of having an effective logistics structure in place for the smooth running of the Olympics transportation system.
For further updates on how the transport industry is being affected by the Olympics see; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18378954
June 18, 2012 | Share: