London 2012: Bus drivers to be balloted on Olympic industrial action

14:09 10 May 2012

Bus drivers across London are to vote on industrial action which could take place during the Olympic Games.

Union Unite says it has given 21 London bus operators seven days notice of its intention to ballot bus workers on industrial action.

The union has also called on the mayor, Boris Johnson, to demand that bus operators agree an Olympic payment for more than 20,000 bus workers.

It says bus operators’ failure to meet with Unite means strike action could take place up to and during the Olympic Games.

Unite is calling for a £500 payment to, it says, “recognise the massive increase in workload as a result of the Olympics”.

Peter Kavanagh, Unite’s regional secretary for London, said: “Bus workers will be going above and beyond the call of duty to make the Olympics a success.

“They are the only London transport workers not getting an Olympic payment for their extra work.

“The first priority for London’s re-elected Mayor must be to demand that bus operators agree a fair award for their workers during the Olympic games.

“If bus workers take strike action in the run up to and during the Olympics it will be because Boris Johnson and the bus companies failed in their duty to London.

“The red London bus is an iconic symbol for this city. Bus workers deserve recognition for helping hundreds of thousands of extra passengers during the Olympics and dealing with major congestion on London’s roads.”

Leon Daniels, Transport for London’s managing director of surface transport, said: “London bus drivers are employed by private bus companies and their pay and conditions are set by those companies.

“If bus drivers are required to work additional hours they are always paid overtime accordingly.”

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