Buses running as normal after industrial action called off

Today’s London-wide bus strike has been called off.

Bus users across Havering had been due to face disruption to services in the latest wave of transport strikes over Olympic bonuses - but a multi-million pound profit-sharing deal agreed yesterday afternoon brought the dispute to a successful conclusion.

The announcement is good news for thousands of bus users across Havering - but rail services throughout the borough could still be halted in the weeks leading up to the Games if proposed strike action over bonuses goes ahead.

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMT) announced this week it is balloting members from three rail companies – including Greater Anglia, which operates the Liverpool Street to Shenfield line, and services to Ingatestone – over the possibility of striking.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the three rail companies, also including First Great Western and South West Trains, are trying to “force their staff to work longer and harder [during the Olympics] for little or nothing in return”. Deals for Olympic bonuses have been struck at more than 10 other rail services, including C2C, which runs services through Rainham and Upminster – and is now boasting nearly 50,000 extra seats per day of the Games – and London Underground, which serves Hornchurch and Upminster on the District Line.

The rail ballot will end on Thursday July 19th – less than a fortnight before the Games.

Former Stagecoach driver Brian Relf, of Thurloe Gardens, Romford, said he was glad the bus drivers had secured an agreement.

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“I’m 200 per cent behind them,” he said. “At the end of the day, these companies are earning millions and millions.

“This should have been sorted months ago. The worldwide news that there could be strikes is already damaging us, and could affect our future. I don’t know why the Mayor of London and the private companies don’t do something about it.”

But not everyone is supporting the transport workers. Following last month’s strike, some Recorder readers posted angry comments on our Facebook page.

“I think it’s disgusting,” wrote Clare Lianne Foster of Romford. “My husband couldn’t get to work (we live in Collier Row and he works in Barking). He had to wait over two hours to be collected by a work friend, arriving in work late which he won’t be paid for – so therefore he, who earns even less than the bus drivers, loses money! I think they should all be sacked!”

For up-to-date advice on travel during the Games, visit http://www.getaheadofthegames.com/.