Blog: Thousands of Bus Workers Take Solid Strike Action
Picket at Westham by 'Busworker' Blog

Thousands of London bus workers are taking industrial action today in a dispute over a fair bonus for the extra workload during the Olympics.

Around 85% of the bus workforce from 17 companies are involved in the action today, with TfL listing scores of bus routes as affected, were they say cycling or walking would be the better option. Presumably they don't suggest using the tube as there is a risk of services being dangerously overcrowded.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow warned earlier in the week that the union “has deep concerns about the safety implications of trying to cram hundreds of thousands of extra journeys into a system creaking at the seams and our safety reps will be monitoring the situation closely on Friday.” TfL appear to agree with this as they haven't directed customers towards underground stations in the statement on their website.

Unite, the union organising the action reports of solid action and more to come should their members not recieve a fair bonus for the Olympic period.

Unite's London Regional Secretary, Peter Kavanagh said, as reported in the Independent, "Today's strike comes as bus operators hide behind an anti-democratic court injunction and refuse to settle the dispute. We will fight to get the injunction overturned and further action will be bigger if Transport for London and the bus operators continue to bury their head in the sand.

"The strike should be a wake-up call to the bus companies and TfL. They now need to negotiate meaningfully about rewarding bus workers for the massive increase in workload they will face over the Olympics.

Meanwhile BBC London Transport Correspondent Tom Edwards reports solid action in an East London bus depot:

The RMT has secured bonuses for workers at several workplaces across London. DLR staff will get bonuses of up to £900, London Overground workers will be rewarded at least £650, LU staff up to £1000, and RMT secured a £700 enhancement for Heathrow Express workers.

There are many other areas across London where RMT has secured a bonus during the Olympics and others where the process is ongoing. You can read more here.

Here is some further coverage of the strike today.