Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NOW BUS DRIVERS DEMAND [Pounds Sterling]500 FOR OLYMPICS; ?LATEST BONUS CLAIM TAKES GAMES TRANSPORT BILL TO [Pounds sterling]30M Union Threatens Action on Bonus Claim

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NOW BUS DRIVERS DEMAND [Pounds Sterling]500 FOR OLYMPICS; ?LATEST BONUS CLAIM TAKES GAMES TRANSPORT BILL TO [Pounds sterling]30M Union Threatens Action on Bonus Claim

Article excerpt

Byline: Dick Murray Transport Correspondent

LONDON bus drivers were today accused of holding passengers to ransom as they threatened to strike during next summer's Olympic Games unless they get a [pounds sterling]500 bonus.

The 28,000 staff claim they need the money just for turning up to work -- because their buses will be so busy.

But Boris Johnson today accused transport workers of money-grabbing and asked their Unite union to back down. The claim would slap a [pounds sterling]14 million bill on passengers and taxpayers.

It is the latest of several demands -- totalling nearly [pounds sterling]30 million -- by transport staff to work during the three-week Games.

The Mayor branded Tube and bus drivers as "chiselling". He said: "It is incredible that people are using their positions to lever more money out of London's transport

budget. I don't think it is reasonable."

On the bonus claim by bus drivers he said: "I don't support it. There is no extra burden I can see."

Unite, the country's largest union, has written to all London's bus operators demanding the [pounds sterling]500 payments. Its London regional secretary Peter Kavanagh accused the Mayor's office of "washing its hands" of any responsibility for the claim. …

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