London bus workers might strike for Olympics 2012 pay

by Alister POOLE on December 16, 2011

Bus workers across London have said that they want a one-off £500 payment for being made to work during the Olympic Games next year.

Unite, the trade union, has written to operators on the behalf of 28,000 employees that have raised the threat of disruptive industrial action in the event that a deal isn’t agreed. The union said that £500 would fall in line with payments that other London transport staff are to receive for having to work during the Games.

Immediately after the letter was received, Transport for London made calls for a resolution to be made with minimal disruption. The move from bus workers comes just a day after Tube employees announced that they are to hold 24-hour strikes across four days, one of which is Boxing Day. For having to work over the bank holiday, they are demanding triple pay and at least one day off in lieu.

Unite has argued that 800,000 more passengers than usual are expected to use buses throughout the Olympics, which will generate “significant” extra revenue. Peter Kavanagh, its regional secretary, said that it is “only right” that bus staff should be rewarded for making extra contributions during the Olympics.

Two weeks ago the manager of London’s suburban rail network, London Overground, agreed to pay staff an additional 25% for having to work during both the Olympics and Paralympics.

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