A 24-hour walkout by London’s bus drivers may have been averted after Boris Johnson announces that he has secured a fund of £8.3 million to cover bonuses being demanded by drivers who work during the Olympic Games. However, Mr Johnson has said that the money would only remain available if the strike, due to start on Friday, is called off.
Unite is demanding that its members are paid an additional £500 for agreeing to work during the Games. However, Transport for London and Mr Johnson have been arguing that the matter needs to be taken up with the private companies running the London bus network.
Mr Johnson confirmed that the Olympic Delivery Authority had put up the cash but that the offer may be withdrawn if disruption is caused in the capital by strike action. Although it welcomed the additional funds, Unite is angry that Mr Johnson had not become involved in the dispute sooner.
London’s regional secretary, Peter Kavanagh, said it was disappointing that the mayor had waited so long to get involved pointing out that Mr Johnson had still not responded to requests for a meeting.
The union said that it would not be calling this Friday’s industrial action off until it was convinced that all of the capital’s bus companies were committed to a solution. TfL has consistently argued that because London buses are operated by private companies the argument over pay is a matter for workers and company bosses.