Thursday's planned twenty four hour bus strike was prevented at the last minute when ACAS talks produced a possible solution to the bus drivers' unhappiness over bonuses for the Olympics.
Had it not been prevented over twenty one thousand bus drivers had planned to strike that day. The Olympic Delivery Authority had produced a grant of 8.3 million pounds to assist with the extra costs of running extra services during the games. However, Transport for London (TFL) has now made an additional offer to share any increased revenue with the drivers.
It had been reported that TFL did stand to make a hefty profit from the extra business brought along by the games. In fact this is one reason why the union Unite was so upset that its bus driver members would receive no bonus payment at all for what is set to be a very busy time. This was the case despite the fact most other transportation services were receiving bonuses and/or promises of guaranteed overtime.
Olympic organisers have been worried for the chaos that would be caused by bus drivers striking during the games, not to mention the embarrassment. This proposal, however, would see that the bus drivers and TFL split any extra revenue 50:50 each, on the condition that the bus companies passed on the share to their drivers. To ensure complete fairness and accuracy any increased revenue would be independently verified.
"The suspension of strike action means there is now time for negotiation and serious consideration of this very fair offer, which the Unite leadership must now put to their members" comments TFL's Managing Director. At this time talks are still ongoing and as such Unite have refused to comment on the matter. We shall have to wait and see whether or not this 'very fair offer' is accepted by the union and its members or whether there is another bus strike to come. When an agreement failed to be reached last month a strike by the bus drivers saw two thirds of bus routes out of the capital disrupted. With the Olympic games ever fast approaching lets hope this is the solution.