Aberdeen bus drivers today officially backed “all-out indefinite” strike action in their ongoing pay dispute.
Unite the Union and First Aberdeen are embroiled in talks to hammer out a new deal for drivers’ pay and conditions but so far no settlement has been agreed.
The current strike action is due to end on Saturday, but at a mass meeting in Aberdeen today drivers ratified a decision to go on indefinite strike from Friday, April 6.
Unite admitted the move was “draconian” but blasted bus bosses for refusing to axe new drivers’ contracts, which they say will increase drivers’ working hours for reduced wages, reduce sick pay, reduce annual leave and holiday pay and end paid breaks for drivers on duty.
Unite First Bus Branch convenor, Graham Gavin said: “Andrew Jarvis, the First Bus managing director, likes to talk about give and take in these negotiations. Well it’s Unite members that are doing all the giving and First Bus doing the taking. The point of view of our union members is that ‘they want the shirt off our back’.”
Joint convenor Mike Flinn added: “The mood in the meeting was fantastic. There were more than 200 drivers there and they’re determined to fight to get a decent deal. If you ask me they’ve got fire in their bellies.”
First Aberdeen has been contacted for comment.