London 2012: Last minute talks to prevent bus worker walkout over Olympic pay

17:06 21 June 2012

Last-minute talks to avert a London-wide bus strike over a dispute about Olympic bonuses are underway.

Bus workers from 20 operators are due to walk out for 24 hours from tomorrow in the first London-wide bus strike in a generation.

This morning Unite the Union and the bus companies met at the conciliation service Acas to try to broker a deal. Unite is seeking a bonus payment of £500 for employees working for London’s bus operators during the Games.

The talks came after Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced yesterday the Olympic Delivery Authority had made available funds for an Olympic bonus for London bus workers.

Speaking last night Peter Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary for London, said: “If the bus companies are genuine about wanting to reach a settlement to recognise the contribution of bus workers to the Olympics then they will accept the offer to meet us at the conciliation service Acas on Thursday morning.

“The Olympic Delivery Authority has made £8.3million available for the bus workers. The mayor has instructed the bus companies to negotiate and we expect them to find the remaining money needed for a fair settlement.

“We cannot call the strike off until we are persuaded that Transport for London (TfL) and the bus companies are serious about resolving this dispute. With just hours left every minute counts.

“There are 20 bus operators, it’s imperative there’s a single forum to meet with the bus companies and TfL’s involvement is vital in order to secure a deal.”

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