Bus drivers in Aberdeen are to be balloted on industrial action over proposed changes to their working conditions.
A row between transport operator First Bus and its employees has been ongoing for months over new terms and conditions.
It has been claimed that if new contracts are forced upon staff it would lead to less holiday entitlement, longer working hours and benefits being slashed.
Unite the union has served an official legal notice to First confirming it will conduct a ballot for industrial action with the 300 members it represents.
Last month, drivers staged a protest outside the firm’s King Street depot against the new deal.
This followed an earlier ballot in January which saw 98.4% of drivers opt to turn down the contract with only four voting in favour.
A statement previously issued on behalf of First Aberdeen drivers said they are worried a serious accident could happen due to all the stress they are under.
First Aberdeen has previously said the economic downturn meant the firm is no longer able to pay the current package.
The ballot result will be known on Wednesday, February 28.
In a statement, First Aberdeen today expressed disappointment at plans by union representatives to ballot their members on industrial action, “especially while individual driver consultations on revised pay and conditions are ongoing”.
The bus operator has been in collective consultation with drivers and their trade union representatives for several months on the new package.
First Aberdeen operations director, David Phillips, said: “It is hugely disappointing that union representatives have decided to ballot for industrial action. The trade union must realise that we are operating in a very challenging economic climate, which has had a negative impact on the business.”