Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/722/14694
Olympics - a fair deal for transport workers
London bus workers strike together
A London bus worker
Bus workers across London have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. Dates are to be announced.
Other passenger transport workers in the capital are getting an Olympic bonus. Why not bus workers? Do the bosses think we are a soft touch?
Our union Unite expects 800,000 extra passengers to travel on buses during the Olympic Games. We are asking for a £500 bonus for the extra pressure we're undoubtedly going to face. Every day we already have to deal with frustrated passengers and tolerate road rage on congested streets. It will be many times worse during the Olympics.
Other workers are getting between £500 and £900. And Unite has revealed that seven London transport bosses stand to get an Olympic bonus of £80,000 each. In May a survey revealed 88% of passengers agree with us getting a bonus.
The count last week indicated 94% voted to strike - on the same 38% turnout as when London mayor Boris Johnson got in to office.
Unless Transport for London and the big profitable bus firms pay up, this will be our first London-wide strike for decades. Success can begin to transform the mood of bus workers. We desperately need to build a reputation like tube workers for strong trade unionism.
Transport for London RMT members in Travel Information Centres, Customer Contact Centres and Lost Property Offices have voted more than three to two for strike action and more than three to one for action short of a strike.
This is to demand payment for the extra work during the Olympics and in protest at the ban on annual leave during the games. Strike action and an overtime ban are now likely.
The RMT has also just secured an agreement for Heathrow Express workers of a £700 bonus for the extra pressure during the Olympics. This also gives the opportunity to earn additional payments on a voluntary basis with no threat to annual leave or enforced extension of hours.
In The Socialist 13 June 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news