Bus drivers are the only transport workers in London not to receive an Olympic bonus
Unite says it will add a day’s pay to its claim for a £500 Olympic bonus if London bus workers are forced to strike on Friday.
Every other London transport worker in London is receiving a bonus to recognise their extra effort over the Olympics.
Unite’s regional secretary for London, Peter Kavanagh, said: “Bus workers will be on the frontline of London’s transport network during the Olympics but they have been treated with contempt by the bus companies and TfL. They are claiming an award which every other London transport worker will receive. If bus workers are forced to take strike action, we will increase our claim of £500.
“TfL and the bus companies cannot just think they can do nothing and see strike action out. They have to stop burying their heads in the sand and treat bus workers fairly or face damaging strike action and the prospect of a day’s pay being added to the claim.”
London buses will come to a standstill on Friday, as bus workers from every London bus operator will take strike action across the capital for the first time in a generation.
A recent survey of almost 3,000 London transport passengers, conducted by independent researchers for Unite, revealed that almost nine out of ten back the bus workers’ call for an Olympic payment. Unite says for the 29 days of the Olympic and Paralympic Games the £500 is worth just £17.24 a day. A pint of beer at the Olympics will cost £7.23.
The latest Transport for London (TfL) accounts for the full financial year 2011/12 show a budget surplus of £759 million. The London Olympics is set to come in under its £9.3 billion budget with £476 million of the contingency funding left, according to new government figures. Bus workers are asking for an award of £500 net at a cost of just £14 million.
Olympic awards have already been agreed for the following workers:
- Heathrow Express workers: £700
- Network Rail: £500
- Docklands Light Railway: £900
- Virgin Rail: £500
- London Overground: £600
- London Underground: at least £850
- BAA staff, up to £1,200
According to TfL’s annual report, the top seven staff at the organisation are in line to cash in on two years of annual bonuses worth £560,000 which equates to £80,000 each if the system runs smoothly during the Olympic Games.
On Friday 8 June over 20,000 members of Unite working for 21 London bus operators, including Go Ahead, Stagecoach, London United, Arriva, Metroline, First and Abellio backed strike action by an average of 94 per cent. Turnouts across the operators averaged 38 per cent (see notes to editors) the same percentage turnout that saw Boris Johnson re-elected as mayor of London.
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