More Than 24,000 Workers Could Strike During 2012 Olympics
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters Union stands in solidarity with sister union Unite in the United Kingdom and the more than 24,000 Unite bus workers in a six-month labor dispute that holds the potential to disrupt the 2012 Olympics in London.
London's bus workers could strike during the Olympics if their employers continue to resist negotiating over compensation. A vote on a possible strike action will be completed on June 8. In a recent consultative ballot of the union's members, 95 percent backed a strike ballot.
Bus workers are the only transport workers in the city that are not receiving additional compensation for the projected mass increase in work during the Olympics.
Unions in the U.K. have already negotiated bonus compensation for workers on the London Docklands Light Railway, the London Underground, London Rail "Overground" and Virgin Railways.
London's bus routes are franchised by a public body, Transport for London, but the routes are operated by 21 private companies, including multinationals FirstGroup, Stagecoach and Go-Ahead. Despite Unite's repeated requests, all of the bus companies have refused to meet to discuss plans for the games.
"The Teamsters Union stands by our sister union, Unite, and the thousands of bus workers who want to welcome the world to their city for the Olympics," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "The spirit of these games should not be tarnished by the refusal of the city's private bus operators to respect workers and compensate them fairly."
"Bus workers are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty to make the Olympics a success, but they cannot be ignored. The behaviour of Transport for London and the bus companies is a mass dereliction of duty to London, to visitors and to the workers who keep our city running," said Peter Kavanagh, Unite's Regional Secretary for London.
"We want to thank the Teamsters Union in America and the global labor movement for their continued support, which is crucial because the world will be watching London this summer. People across the globe who will be viewing the games need to know just how irresponsible Transport for London and the London bus companies are being. If there is disruption up to and during the Olympics it will be because the bus companies and Transport for London failed in their duty to London."
With London's population of nearly eight million expected to swell during the games, an additional burden will be placed on the city's transport system and its workers. Nearly one million additional passengers are expected to travel on buses during the Olympics.
Unite has called for a payment of about $750 to recognize and reward bus workers. The payment would equate to about $25 per day per worker.
A recent survey of passengers showed nearly 90 percent supported rewarding London's bus workers during the Olympics.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters