Talks aim to avoid Olympics strike

First published in National News © by

Eleventh hour talks aimed at averting a strike by London bus workers over an Olympic bonus will be held on Thursday.

Thousands of members of Unite are due to walk out for 24 hours on Friday over a claim for £500 for working during the Games.

The conciliation service Acas announced that it will hold talks with the bus operators and Unite.

The development followed an announcement by London Mayor Boris Johnson that money is available for an Olympic bonus for London bus workers.

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 Olympics 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."

Unite official Peter Kavanagh said: "The Olympic Delivery Authority has made £8.3 million available for the bus workers. The Mayor has instructed the bus companies to negotiate and we expect them to find the remaining money needed for a fair settlement."


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