Friday’s bus strike in London may be called off after mayor of London Boris Johnson revealed that a £8.3m cash pool is available as a Games bonus for bus workers.
The London Evening Standard has reported that the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has funds to give to bus companies to compensate their drivers.
“I urge them to do the right thing by their workforce and by Londoners and get on and negotiate – I would say to those that are seriously proposing a strike, that would be greatly disruptive,” Boris told the London Assembly today.
“I say to them that cash is available but it is only available on the condition that Londoners are not disrupted and that there is no strike.
“It is up to the employers to get on and do the deal. There is ODA cash available to the tune of £8.3m to compensate workers who are genuinely going to be doing more during the Olympic and Paralympics.
“In so far as they are going to be doing more there is cash available from the ODA. It is absolutely vital that the bus companies now pull their fingers out and do this deal.”
The bus strike due on Friday in London was called by trade union Unite after bus drivers were refused an Olympic bonus for working during the Games. The union demanded a £500 Olympic bonus for bus workers and an extra £100 each time there is a strike.
Peter Kavanagh, Unite’s regional secretary for London, raised questions on why the mayor waited so long to intervene and said that Boris had not tried to contact the union or responded to a meeting request.
“The Mayor cannot now just walk away and leave it to the bus companies. We expect genuine involvement and intervention from the mayor and Transport for London to ensure the bus companies fulfil their duty to recognise fully the role their workers will be playing in making the Olympics a success.
“We cannot call the strike off until we hear from the bus companies and we are persuaded that TfL is serious about resolving this dispute. With only 36 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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