Striking bus drivers have cemented plans to stage an “indefinite” period of walkouts next month as a pay row with bosses rumbles on.
Last week, drivers at First Bus in Aberdeen decided on the move in protest against new contracts being offered by management – which they say will cut their wages by as much as £5,000.
And yesterday, during a mass meeting ahead of the current strike concluding tomorrow, they ratified that decision and confirmed that “all out indefinite action” will commence next Friday.
Union leaders also intensified a war of words with the bus firm, noting that drivers felt their superiors “want the shirts off their backs”.
Unite says the firm’s “draconian” proposals include an increase in working hours in exchange for less wages, reduced sick pay, decreased annual leave allowance and holiday pay and an end to paid breaks for drivers on duty.
Union convener Graham Gavin said: “It’s our members that are doing all the giving and First Bus doing the taking. Our point of view is that ‘they want the shirt off our back’.”
Meanwhile, North East MSP Lewis McDonald tabled a parliamentary motion criticising First Bus Aberdeen’s stance.
The motion asks parliament to recognise that “the company’s most loyal and long-serving bus drivers will lose more than £5,000 a year”, and calls for meaningful negotiations to resume services without delay.
First Bus management have said the new contracts reflect financial pressures and maintain they are “open and available for talks” with union representatives.