Bus Drivers Vote For Strike Over Olympics Pay
Thousands of London bus drivers have voted in favour of strike action - raising the possibility of a crippling walkout during the Olympics.
Members of the Unite union backed industrial action in a row over extra pay for working during the Games, which begin next month.
The union argues that each of the 20,000 bus workers it represents should receive an extra £500 for being on duty over the busy period.
All other transport employees in the capital are being paid a premium for working while the event is taking place, Unite claims.
It estimates at least 800,000 extra passengers will use London's buses during the Olympics.
Unite's regional officer, Peter Kavanagh, said it has been negotiating with Transport for London (TfL) and bus operators for almost a year.
"There are only seven weeks until the Olympics and the whole world is watching London," he 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.
"We have given Transport for London and the bus operators almost a year to resolve this issue.
"This dispute could be brought to an end now if the bus companies and TfL have the will to provide the relatively small amount of money compared to the billions being spent on the Games."
But TfL said bus drivers are employed by private companies which deal with their pay.
Leon Daniels, TfL's managing director of surface transport, described the extra money demanded by the union as a "multi-million pound burden".
"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," he said.
"Only Unite appears to want to exploit it by adding a further multi-million pound burden to the hard-pressed fare-payers and taxpayers of London.
"We are really disappointed that the Unite leadership is encouraging its members to take this unnecessary strike action.
"Unite has already negotiated binding deals for pay and conditions with each of the London bus companies for this year and those companies are keeping their end of the deal.
"Attempting to tear up those agreements and get a new one with less than 50 days to go before the Games is completely reprehensible and out-of-step with every other provider of services in this city this summer."
Strike dates could be announced by Unite in the coming days following the ballot.
what do you think?
Why should anyone get premium pay whilst the Olympics are on? If they're doing more hours then obviously they should get overtime but not extra cos it's the Olympics as that's not fair on transport workers in the rest of the country who aren't benefitting from Olympics
yea right pay them the money and that will bring them in line with all the other organisations including the competitors who just seem to be in it for making money , olympic games bah humbug
Sack the lot of them. Total Greed!!!!
What a country if they dont want ovetime dont work just greedy
I'm sure there are thousand's of unemployed bus drivers who would love to be able to work over this period, and gain as much overtime as is available. If these morons decide to strike, then let's replace them with these unemployed workers, seems only fair to me :)
The only question I would ask is ....have they had their holidays suspended during that time period and are they all on standby on their days off like the train drivers. If that is the case then is it fair that they are not allowed to go out or do anything across the whole of that period for no extra money ? As for the overtime , again is it voluntary ? Just asking the questions and dont agree with this.
the drivers do no more work whether there is one passenger on their bus or 72. The only difference the olympics will make is more overtime being available as more routes are added. This is pure greed and nothing more. If they want an increase in pay because of more passengers, are they happy to have a reduction inpay if they drive a bus with fewer passengers? As someone else in this thread says, there are plenty of unemployed people who would be more than happy for the jobs should the management get some gumption and sack the lot of them.
Good idea. We all want a bonus for the olympics, even to watch it. After all, the so called exec team running it are on a minimum of £1m a piece. Further more, us viewers want a bonus for suffering football when we don't even like it.
You can bet your bottom dollar that if a group of workers are going to cause inconvience for the general public then the Unite union will be behind it.
ive said this , It will end bad
Pure Greed unless of course they will be taking a pay cut during quieter periods
Quite right to,why not pay them extra? after all the yube people are getting more and bus driving is a very difficult job
The people who should be on a bonus based on performance are the ones who maintain the ticket machines, London Buses are pre-pay only
I work at a busy international airport. So i should therefore get more pay for doing my job in summer following these bus drivers logic. Greedy.
It's not like there being made to work on a bank holiday or religious festival if it wasn't for the Olympics it would be a normal working fortnight. If I increased my hourly rate or charged my customers more because the Olympics where on I would find my self out of work very quickly. All this boils down to is greed
The unions were always going to jump on the Olympics and use them as a bargaining tool to get more money for their members..I have only one question..How is a bus drivers job going to change because the games are on? This smacks of parasitic union leaders stirring it.
What a load of rubbish as far as bus driving is concerned each day is the same as the next so what difference should the Olympics make. Question will my pension go up £17 a day whilst the Olympics are on? No
You lot make me laugh the tube drivers are getting 55k a year us bus driver if we are lucky earn half that Explain why we shouldn't get extra money when buses are going to be at least double the amount of passengers Last weekend was a prime example of our tube system/drivers completely failing and they are getting/got 850 payment and for what do they have to deal with there passengers give directions/take cash fare or for that matter even talk to passenger NO THEY DON'T so why give them extra money and not the bus drivers So get a grip people bus drivers only want what they deserve
Your bus carries the passengers NOT you or do you give private piggie backs for a fare? If this is the case should you get less when your bus is empty? The sack is what you deserve LONDON wanted the olympics you got it live with it
It's just a reminder of how we exercise power. We can bleed the carcase alot more yet! Much planning goes into an event like this at all levels. The real gamble is just how far can it be pushed? just when does enough public opinion turn? will it effect how people vote?
As the tube drivers and others have already got their snouts in the olympic trough, it`s not surprising that everyone else wants to jump on the bandwagon. Who will be next after the bus drivers ?