All of London's buses will come to a standstill for the first time in a generation this Friday as bosses bury their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the massive rise in workload during the Olympics.
Workers from every bus operator in the city will strike and union Unite says unless bosses come to their senses, it will call further strikes up to and during the Games.
Unite says that workers, of whom more than 20,000 were balloted, will take strike action for one shift beginning from Friday around 3am and finishing at the end of the night shift on Saturday.
The union said that bus workers are the only London transport workers not receiving an award for their extra effort during the Olympic Games and unless bosses act, it will call further strikes.
The last London-wide bus strike took place in 1982 when workers walked out in solidarity with nurses.
A recent survey of almost 3,000 London transport passengers conducted for Unite revealed that almost nine out of 10 back the bus workers' call for a £500 Olympic payment.
Unite says for the 29 days of the Olympic and Paralympic Games the payment is worth just £17.24 a day - to put that in context, a pint of beer at the Olympics will cost £7.23.
Latest Transport for London (TfL) accounts for the full financial year 2011/12 show a budget surplus of £759 million and the Games are set to come in under their £9.3 billion budget with £476m of the contingency funding left.
London's 21 bus operators claim they cannot afford the payment to workers because they're paid a set fee by TfL.
Unite says Olympic awards have already been agreed for Heathrow Express workers, £700; Network Rail, £500; Docklands Light Railway, £900; Virgin Rail, £500; London Overground, £600; London Underground, at least £850 and BAA staff, up to £1,200.
Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said: "The bus companies haven't met with Unite once to discuss bus workers' extra contribution to the Olympic games and TfL has refused to intervene."
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