Andrew Bosi (left): 'I support the bus drivers because of the aggravation and extra work they will face during the Games'
Published: 6 July, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
ISLINGTON-based transport campaigner Andrew Bosi spoke out this week in support of bus drivers getting an Olympics bonus.
Mr Bosi, chairman of the London-wide Capital Transport Campaign, said that the bus drivers – who work directly with the public, unlike some other transport workers – were entitled to the same extra cash as the tube and rail drivers.
Bus companies claim they can’t afford to pay an estimated 28,000 bus drivers in London an extra £500 for the Games, even though other workers will get the bonus.
Mr Bosi, who lives in Canonbury, said: “I support the bus drivers because of the aggravation and extra work they will face during the Games.
Remember, they have to take fares, give change, answer questions, as well as drive the bus, which means they’ll get far more hassle than tube and train drivers, who have no direct contact with the public.
“Besides, once you have conceded the point with the tube and railway drivers, who are all getting bonuses, how can you refuse the bus workers?”
He pointed out that even people employed by the London Mayor’s “Boris Bike” scheme are to be paid bonuses for the Games.
He said: “Boris stopped short of giving the bus companies a ringing endorsement in the course of the ritualistic condemnation of the unions.
“As Transport for London put up some money to resolve the dispute, Boris cannot be entirely happy that the bus companies seem reluctant to make use of it.”
Writing in our sister paper the Camden New Journal last week, Peter Kavanagh, Unite’s London regional secretary, described the “meanness and hypocrisy” over who gets an Olympic bonus.
London bus drivers, he argued, will have to deal with increased stress, massive traffic restrictions and alterations imposed on the capital’s already congested road system, changes to working shifts, and annual holidays cancelled or postponed.
He pointed out that workers at Network Rail will get £500, Docklands Light Railway staff will get £900 plus guaranteed overtime at enhanced rates, and Virgin Rail has agreed a £500 Olympics payment.
Unite members at London Underground will receive £850.
And, according to Mr Kavanagh, even the managing director of surface transport at Transport for London, Leon Daniels, with a basic salary £234,000, is in line to earn an Olympics bonus of £80,000.