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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK
Bus strike hits carnival weekend
Notting Hill Carnival
West London's Notting Hill Carnival begins on 27 August
Bus workers have voted to strike on the weekend of the Notting Hill Carnival in a dispute over pay.

Controllers and instructors working for bus operator First London have planned a 48-hour strike on 27 August in west London and Orpington in Kent.

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association union said it "had enough of putting up with scraps".

A First London spokesman said: "Our pay offer amounts to a 4.5% rise this year. We are trying hard to reach agreement."

The 48-hour strike coincides with west London's annual Notting Hill Carnival on 27 and 28 August.

The union has also planned two 24-hour strikes on 31 August and 7 September.

'Fair reward'

"It is only fair that all bus workers get a fair reward for their hard work," said the union's general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"Regrettably, if this is not forthcoming, then buses coming to a halt may well become the norm."

However, First London denied that bus services would be cancelled as a result of the action of "a few hundred workers".

"These are the workers who are mostly in garages or out on the road supervising the buses, ensuring they run on time," the bus operator's spokesman said.

"We have contingency plans to ensure buses will still run if the strike action goes ahead."


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