London Bus

Another day, another strike threat. The threat of bus drivers striking during the Olympics, however, has been averted just in time.

Members of the Unite union voted in favour of accepting a bonus payment that will see each driver receiving an approximate five hundred and seventy seven pounds bonus for their work over the Olympics.

The incentive payment is awarded at a daily rate of twenty seven pounds fifty. With the average driver working about twenty one shifts during the Olympics and Paralympics this equates the over five hundred pounds and is in line with other bonuses that have been agreed for other transportation services. In addition to this daily rate there has been a deal to split the extra revenue received by the bus companies fifty fifty with the drivers themselves.

It's good news that there will at least be one less strike during the Olympic games. Unite bus drivers had previously staged a one day strike in June after talks over a bonus had stalled. This agreement comes after six days of ACAS supported talks with the union. Transport for London had been reluctant to intervene, feeling that this was a private bus company dispute. No doubt the Mayor's contribution of securing a further £8.3 million from the Olympic Delivery Authority helped as it part funded the bonus pay-out.

Peter Kavanagh, Unite's Regional Secretary for London expressed his relief at having reached an agreement pointing out that "after almost a year-long campaign, bus workers finally have a fair deal which recognises their contribution to keeping London moving over the Olympics." He continued by saying that "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."

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