Today’s announcement of a ballot by bus drivers to strike, possibly during the Olympics is, of course, not going to lead to a strike – instead it’s a negotiating tactic designed to force Boris to intervene (he’d rather not, presumably, since the bus companies that employ the drivers are private companies).  That much is clear from the Unite union’s statement:

Unite has urged the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson to demand that London’s bus operators end their silence and agree an Olympic payment for over 20,000 bus workers who are days away from voting on industrial action.

Unite has given seven days notice to 21 London bus operators of its intention to ballot bus workers for industrial action.

The failure of Boris Johnson to intervene and the bus operators’ refusal to meet with Unite means strike action could take place up to and during the Olympic Games, if there is no resolution.

Now, we know Boris doesn’t want to get involved, he’s never shown any interest in industrial relations, so what will he do?  On current second term form, sick it off onto someone else, probably Isabel Dedring, the new head of TfL as well as Deputy Mayor for Transport, who is probably the most powerful figure in London’s transport industry now.  Not bad.


7 Responses to Bus Strikes: Hold Very Tight Please

  1. Tantalizing says:

    Boris dealt with this – he went to meet Kelly Brook to discuss it!

    …actually my girlfriend met her recently – she reported that she is without doubt the ‘thickest person I have ever met’.

    This is probably why Boris likes her.

    She is also tiny – like a munchkin.

  2. Greg Tingey says:

    One of BoJo’s weaknesses is that he “sounds off” about industrial action, & hence the bullshit about “driverless” trains …
    But he never, ever(?) seems to actually DO anything about it.
    Curious, that.

  3. I heard/read somewhere that very early on in his first term Peter Hendy advised him not to talk directly to the unions and being a hands off sort of bloke Boris was only too happy to take his advice. That is why he failed to live up to his “no strike deal” manifesto pledge and has kept out of any negotiations.

  4. Mark S says:

    I may be looking at this rather simplistically but why do the drivers need a bonus payment for doing their regular job? I appreciate it’s going to be a lot busier during the games but they are still doing the same job as they did before? If it’s sheet number of passengers they are complaining about I wonder if they consider the opposite that when it’s quiet and they aren’t carrying a bus full of passengers they should take a pay reduction?

    Just seems to me like another union holding the public to ransom.

  5. Appealing of Ealing says:

    “I may be looking at this rather simplistically…”

    No, you’re being impertinently intelligent and far too reasonable for this blog.

  6. Calamity Jayne says:

    Mark S

    yes you are simple – and the comments from Appealing of Ealing prove it.

    Why shouldn’t bus drivers demand extra money for their work – it’s a free market isn’t it?

    It seems that you’re happy for producers, landlords and retailers to raise their prices for the Olympics – but workers must accept their current conditions?

    If you can find enough qualified bus drivers to work over the Olympics – then do it.

    The truth is that exploitation works in every direction – you cannot allow one section of society (bus company owners) to have free reign and the other must accept salaries offered.

    What are you doing about the bankers ‘threatening to leave the country’ taking all our capital with them simply because we’re a bit narked about having you bail out their sorry asses?

    If you want to go back to the good old days of general strikes and wildcat walkouts – then insisting workers accept the wage they’re offered and allowing executive pay to run wild – then you’re going the right way about it.

  7. Clever Richard says:

    “No, you’re being impertinently intelligent and far too reasonable for this blog.”

    ‘Intelligence and reasonableness’ say that in order to bring the UK out of recession we should shoot 1 person in 5 in order to boost demand.

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