Bus workers in London have voted to take strike action in a row over their workload during the Olympics.The thing with blackmail is that you have to judge it right. Ask more than it's really worth to someone, more than the alternative costs, and you'll lose badly.
Nearly 40% of Unite members working for 21 bus companies voted 94% in favour of strike action. No dates have been set.
The union, which is asking for a £500 bonus, says bus workers are the only London transport workers not to receive an Olympics bonus payment.
Transport for London (TfL) said bus workers were employed by private firms who set their pay.
Thatcher knew this with the miners. They'd right royally taken the piss in the 1970s, bringing down a government. It was worth Mrs Thatcher stockpiling coal, paying for lots of police overtime and seeing the union lose.
£500 isn't worth the hassle. You'll spend more advertising for drivers, training them in how to do the routes and so forth, and you might not even get the drivers with a month to go. On top of that, it's summer and people are far more likely to follow through with a strike threat in summer, when they can spend their time in the garden or with the kids, than in winter.
Now, who's going to pay that cost? The companies that employ them won't. They know that the likes of Boris have their reputation staked on the Olympics, and would much rather hand over a few million quid than see London's transport system descend into chaos when the eyes of the world are on it and be able to sue the suppliers for a tiny amount for breach of contract. They know that the government will blink first.
So, add a few more million into the cost side of the cost-benefit equation of The Olympics. It's going to be real fun dredging through the numbers afterwards.