Barking and Dagenham bus workers agree Olympic bonus deal

Bus workers in Barking and Dagenham have voted to accept an offer of a bonus for working during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Unite the Union said London-based staff will get up to �577 in recognition of the “massive increase” in the workload for employees during the Games.

A disagreement over the bonus led about 100 staff based at the Stagecoach bus station in Longbridge Road, Barking, and the Arriva depot, off the A13, walkout alongside thousands across the capital last month.

In workplace ballots held this week 71 per cent of those voting accepted the offer of the bonus payment.

The bus workers will get �27.50 each time they complete a duty over the 29 days of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The average number of duties workers will complete will be 21, meaning most workers will get a �577 award.

Peter Kavanagh, Unite’s regional secretary for London, said: “After almost a year-long campaign, bus workers finally have a fair deal which recognises their contribution to keeping London moving over the Olympics.

“Major disruption to London’s transport network and international embarrassment in the run-up to the Olympics could have been avoided if Transport for London (TfL) and the employers did the right thing when Unite first approached them almost a year ago. Instead, bus workers had to fight tooth and nail to get recognition.

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“Strike action is always a last resort but for those who say it achieves nothing, we say just look at London’s bus workers.”

Transport for London’s managing director of surface transport, Leon Daniels, said: “The pay of bus workers is, and will remain, a matter between them and the private bus operating companies that employ them.

“However, in this case, as the capital prepares to celebrate the biggest festival of sport and culture it has ever seen, TfL and the Mayor (Boris Johnson) sought to bring Unite and the bus companies together and we are pleased that they have now resolved this dispute.”

Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood said: “We are very pleased that the offer has been accepted by Unite union members. It’s always encouraging when parties are committed to reaching a negotiated settlement.”