Opinion Former Article

Unite: Bus operators milking over £2 billion in profits refuse to negotiate over Olympic award

Strike action across London's bus network will go ahead because bus operators are refusing to enter into genuine and meaningful negotiations despite collectively posting over £2 billion in profits according to their latest annual accounts.

Unite's regional secretary for London said, Peter Kavanagh said:

"The bus operators have posted billions in profits but they are refusing to enter into genuine and timely negotiations with Unite despite being ordered to by the mayor of London.

"The operators' and TfL's collective failure to act decisively to end the dispute means tomorrow's strike will go ahead. Together the bus companies, TfL and the Olympic Delivery Authority can end this dispute at a stroke if everyone plays their fair part.

"The Olympic Delivery Authority has made money available but now it is up to the bus companies and TfL to step up and play their part.

"Despite the huge profits bus operators have given their workers three years of below inflation pay increases or pay freezes. If the operators shirk their responsibilities now they will sow the seeds of massive anger and frustration across the bus network inevitably leading to strife and industrial action during and way beyond the Olympic Games."

The Olympic Delivery Authority has made £8.3 million available to contribute to funding a £500 Olympic award for bus workers but the money only goes halfway to meeting the workers demands. The mayor of London Boris Johnson has instructed the bus operators to negotiate with Unite but the operators have refused to enter into genuine negotiations.


Company Year Posted Profits Posted
Go Ahead 2011 £85 million
Arriva 2011 £1.097 billion
Stagecoach 2011 £191 million
Metroline 2012 £194 million
FirstGroup 2011 £127 million
London United RATP 2010 £148 million
Abellio 2011 £210 million
CT Plus 2011 £642 thousand
£2.052 billion

The latest 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.

Every other London transport worker in London is receiving an award to recognise their extra effort over the Olympics. 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
London Underground maintenance workers at Tube Lines: £850
London Overground maintenance workers employed by Bombardier: £650


ENDS
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

       

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