The Unite union says strike action will take place on July 5 and 24, the latter date coming just three days before the Games opening ceremony is due to take place.

Drivers for 17 major companies are seeking a £500 Olympic bonus after other transport workers, including those on the London Underground were awarded Olympic bonuses, for the substantial increase in workload and stress they are likely to endure during the Games.

Transport for London has called the strikes ‘unnecessary’, while bosses said they will hold out for an extra £100 on top of the bonus for every day the workers are on strike.

Talks between the two parties are due to take place at mediator, Acas, on Monday.

%TNT Magazine% bus strikers

Regional union officer Peter Kavanagh said: “Strike action is being pushed closer and closer to the Olympics because bus companies, supported by the mayor, seem to think it is acceptable to try a dangerous game of brinkmanship.

“This dispute could be resolved at a stroke if the operators negotiated meaningfully.

“Instead it looks like a co-ordinated attack, orchestrated by the mayor, looking for a political fight with Unite and bus workers.

“The workers are getting angrier by the day, and there will be no retreat.”

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