London Bus Workers Say No To Same Pay For Increased Olympic Load
London bus workers have voted "for strike action" over what they said will be a "massive increase" in workload during the Olympic Games, according to Rose Jacobs of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The workers are "angry that transport chiefs are set to cash in" on two years of annual bonuses worth £80,000 a year on average if the system runs according to plan during the Games. More than 20,000 drivers were balloted "on whether to stop work during the Olympics if their request for extra pay is not granted." Unite, the union representing the drivers, said that this bonus would reflect "the extra work they will put in" when as many as 3 million extra people per day will use public transport (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/9). Unite Regional Secretary for London Peter Kavanagh said, "It's a disgrace that London's mayor, Boris Johnson, and the bus companies have allowed this dispute to get this far." Kavanagh added, "Our members are only asking for an extra £17 a day, which will just about buy you a pint of beer and a portion of fish and chips at the Olympics" (BBC, 6/9). In London, Dan Milmo reports transportation officials said the union's claims were "spurious and inaccurate" because the bonus plan for directors "is not based solely on performance over the Olympics" and it's part of the executives' contracts (London GUARDIAN, 6/10).