They've rejected £500 and now tube unions have rejected up to £850 for working during the Olympics – but the problem seems not to be about money.
Both the RMT and TSSA are worried about London Underground's clause asking for "total flexibility" during both Games, which could be seen as a carte blanche for management to – off the tops of our heads – rota longer shifts, put staff into roles they're not familiar with or have staff permanently 'on call' if transport goes completely tits up.
A deal has already been reached with drivers; it's the other tube staff that are in dispute. Howard Collins, LU's Chief Operating Officer, told the BBC that the pay would be up to £850
subject to attendance, customer satisfaction scores and working flexibly in order to deliver a successful Games
Compare such woolly wording to the DLR deal, which involves a £100 per week attendance bonus plus increased overtime payments and guaranteed overtime shifts for all staff at all pay grades, which is similar to what the RMT have been demanding on the tube since January.
Lib Dem Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick has waded in, saying
Londoners need a Mayor who will stand up to the unions, not by refusing to meet them until the eleventh hour but by engaging with them, looking the likes of Bob Crow in the eye and being tough but fair with them. The Olympics should be London’s finest hour but Boris Johnson’s attitude risks turning it into a shambles.