Possible strike action by bus workers in London during the Olympic Games has been averted as a bonus deal is agreed. Members of the Unite union have voted in favour of an extra £577 for working during the event. The last minute deal follows earlier bonus agreements with staff working on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, Network Rail and Heathrow Express.
Commuters in the capital had their travel plans disrupted last month when bus workers staged a 24-hour walkout. Another strike scheduled for 5 July was called off as talks between Unite, Transport for London and London’s 20 private bus firms continued at Acas. A strike pencilled for the 24 July has now been cancelled.
Peter Kavanagh, London’s regional secretary for the Unite union, said that after a year of negotiations a fair deal had finally been settled on. He added that if the bus companies and TfL had accepted the agreement at the start then international embarrassment and widespread disruption could have been avoided.
Transport for London has consistently pointed out that any pay deal was a matter for bus workers and the private companies employing them. TfL has since made the unprecedented move of agreeing to split the extra revenue it expects to make over the Olympics with the bus companies, provided it is passed on to staff.
Leon Daniels, surface transport managing director at TfL, said he was pleased that the pay deal had been accepted by Unite and its members.