London's Bus Drivers Might Not Strike Before the Opening Ceremonies After All
Bus drivers in London, who walked out last month and threatened to strike again before the opening ceremony, might be ready to agree on a new deal.
The union, Unite, has been demanding a $770 bonus for its employees, a similar amount to what other public transport workers have received for working to accommodate the Olympics rush.
Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said that they now have an offer to put to vote among its bus workers. He was quoted in the Independent as saying, "We believe the offer is a fair one that recognizes the work bus workers will be doing to keep London moving during the Olympics."
The deal would deliver bonuses to 20 different bus operators. According to the BBC, Transportation for London would split extra revenue from the Games in half with itself and bus operating companies if it was agreed to be passed on to bus staff. A recommendation to accept and an ensuing ballot is set for Tuesday, July 17.
The operators have insisted a subsidy from TfL (which is under the authority of the Mayor's office) was necessary to meet their demands. Mayor Johnson, who previously said the matter was strictly between Unite and the bus operators, appeared to approve of TfL-sourced payments for the bus workers, telling the Guardian, "I would agree, frankly, that if people work extra during the games, as the tube drivers are being asked to do, if they're going to face real strains on the service, then it's only fair that they should be compensated."
Unite told the BBC that previously announced Olympic bonuses for transportation workers include Heathrow Express employees recieving $1,080, Network Rail $770, Docklands Light Railway $1,388, London Overground $925 and London Underground at least $1,311.
The union will publish details of the offer only after next week's ballot result.