Hopes raise for moves to avert London bus strike

 

Money is available for an Olympic bonus for London bus workers, Boris Johnson revealed today, raising hopes that a planned strike on Friday could be averted.

More than 20,000 members of the Unite union are to walk out for 24 hours in pursuit of a claim for a £500 bonus, threatening travel chaos.

The Mayor of London told the London Assembly that a pot of £8.3 million was available from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) for 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.

"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 £8.3 million 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."

Peter Kavanagh, Unite's regional secretary for London, said: "This 11th-hour intervention still raises more questions than it answers.

"It beggars belief that Boris Johnson has waited so long to intervene and the Mayor has still not been in direct contact with us or responded to our request for a meeting.

"Unite met with the Olympic Delivery Authority last Friday and we believe they were listening, so we cautiously welcome the money being made available by the authority.

"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."

* The Rail Maritime and Transport union said it planned to ballot its members on Greater Anglia, which includes the Stansted Express, for strikes in a dispute over an Olympic bonus.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £38,000

£16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued expansion, an ...

Ashdown Group: Senior .Net Developer - Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

£65000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A long-established, tech...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Software Development Project Manager - Kingston Upon Thames

£55000 - £60000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Experienced Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders