Olympics: London bus drivers threaten strikeReported by Deccan Herald on Saturday, 9 June 2012 (on June 9, 2012)
*Thousands of London bus crews have voted to strike unless they are paid extra for working over the Olympics, the Unite union said today, raising the prospect of a walkout during the Games.*
Unite had previously warned that "strike action could take place up to and during the Olympic Games", which last from July 27 to August 12.
More than 8,000 workers on the famous red buses took part in the vote and backed industrial action by more than nine to one. Unite represents about 20,000 bus workers in the capital in total.
The union, Britain's biggest, wants a bonus of 500 pounds per head for Games duty from 21 private bus companies, after staff on the London Underground won payments of 850 pounds each for the expected heavier workload.
It must now decide whether to name strike dates following the vote.
Unite says at least 800,000 extra passengers are predicted to use London's buses during the Olympics.
"Our members are only asking for an extra 17 Pounds a day, which will just about buy you a pint of beer and a portion of fish and chips at the Olympics," said regional officer Peter Kavanagh.
"Our members want the Games to be a success but their patience has run out."
Transport for London, the public body that oversees the complex transport network for the capital's population of more than seven million, said pay was a matter for the private companies involved.
Leon Daniels, head of surface transport, said 70 percent of London bus drivers had not joined the Unite vote for strike action, adding that this was probably because "70 percent of London's local bus services are not affected by the Olympic Games".
He labelled the strike plan "unnecessary" and accused Unite of seeking to exploit the Games.
During the Olympics, London's public transport network must deal with an extra three million daily journeys, as 10,500 athletes, 9,000 officials, 20,000 journalists and millions of spectators descend on 13 sporting sites.
Links: Full news story
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