Opinion Former Article

Unite: London bus workers back £577 Olympic bonus

Following a London-wide bus strike, the first in decades, and six days of negotiations, London bus workers have overwhelmingly voted to accept an offer of an Olympic award, meaning most workers will get £577 for the massive increase in workload over the Olympics.

In workplace ballots held yesterday (17 July) 71 per cent across 20 London bus operators voted to accept the offer.

The bus workers will get a payment of £27.50 each time they complete a duty over the 29 days of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The average number of duties workers will complete will be 21 meaning most workers will get a £577 award.

Full time workers are guaranteed at least £500 if they work all their duties over the Olympic period.

TfL has also agreed a 50/50 share of increased revenue over the period of the Olympic and Paralympic games compared with the same days in 2011.

The deal follows months of silence from the employers and TfL who refused to talk to the union about an Olympic award for bus workers who were the only London transport workers being denied a reward for their extra effort over the Olympics.

Unite was forced to launch a massive logistical operation to ballot over 20,000 workers at 20 London bus operators for strike action which delivered an overwhelming vote for strike action. It was only after bus workers brought London's bus network to a virtual standstill on 22 June that the employers and TfL were forced to the negotiating table.

After six days of negotiations at the conciliation service Acas TfL and the employers made money available to secure a fair offer that recognised the contribution that bus workers are going to make to keeping London moving during the Olympics.

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

"After almost a year long campaign, bus workers finally have a fair deal which recognises their contribution to keeping London moving over the Olympics.

"Major disruption to London's transport network and international embarrassment in the run-up to the Olympics could have been avoided if TfL and the employers did the right thing when Unite first approached them almost a year ago. Instead bus workers had to fight tooth and nail to get recognition.

"Strike action is always a last resort but for those who say it achieves nothing we say just look at London's bus workers. They would have been offered nothing by their employers and TfL would have done nothing unless bus workers took action to force them round the negotiating table."

ENDS

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315


 

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