85% of overground transport workers in London have begun strike action today over a row that they are among a minority of drivers who will not receive £500 bonuses for working during the Olympics this summer.
An estimated two thirds of bus routes are not being run today as employees and Unite Union members at seventeen capital bus companies have left their posts for the day. Only three companies have been formally prevented from taking strike action by an injunction.
As a result of the strike, London is already seeing massive disruption this morning. While many routes are left without buses, a break down on another route has cause significant road blockages and Transport for London’s bus departures page crashed at 8am this morning due to an unprecedented volume of visitors.
Walking maps are being handed out on London streets to abandoned would-be passengers.
“The failure by the bus companies to negotiate seriously and their desire to run to the courts will only heighten tensions,” says Unite London Secretary, Peter Kavanagh. “The injunction by three bus companies runs contrary to the mayor’s call to pay London bus workers an Olympic bonus.”
“Unite have pursued this unnecessary course of action despite an extra £8.3m being brokered by the mayor,” insists Transport for London Commissioner, Peter Hendy.
“Despite additional offers to supplement this from the bus companies, the Unite leadership have refused to defer the strike to give time for further negotiations or for any of the offers to be put to their members.”