Why are the companies and the Mayor playing hard ball? One thing for sure it is not about the money. There are billons sloshing around the Olympics and collectively the bosses posted over £2 billion in profits for 2011. So what’s there problem with Bus workers and our claim?
It is simple they are determined to hold onto the way they do business with Unite, which is not to negotiate with us (click here to read The Mayor, the bosses and negotiations) and how they deal with the workforce. That is to pursue the Race to the Bottom; a policy of cutting wages, reducing terms and conditions and removing effective trade unions. While the Mayor (who far from being a ‘lovable buffoon’ is a hard nosed free market Tory) supports them all the way.
However the race to the bottom only works when workers are divided. So what scared the living daylights out of Johnson and the operators was our unity shown on the picket lines of the 22nd organised by Unite who backed the action 110%.
Knocked off balance by a united membership and a fighting back union they are in trouble but have not thrown in the towel rather we saw them try a couple of ploys. Johnson suddenly found just over 8m. here we see a man in a panic, his arrogance has put the Olympics in jeopardy, by putting the money on the table he also tries to pass the blame onto Unite and the buck to his chums the operators (when thief’s fall out). While the Operators, then put silly offers to us in the hope that some of us will run to settle and so once again be divided.
For them then it is not the money but the principle of keeping us divided and weak, that they are trying to hold onto, but we hold all the aces bar one in this deck. As long as we stay united the clock continues to count down to the games and the need for Johnson political career and the TFL directors Olympic bonus, they are going to settle. The only card they have left is that of the courts. The anti union laws are just that, they are designed to stop unions taking strike action. However if they come to the rescue of the bosses this time and stop some of us striking, it becomes even more important that we continue to stand together for while we will not be able to strike Unite will continue the fight.