The chief of an Aberdeen transport firm was to drive buses in a bid to keep the service running as industrial action got under way today.
Trade union Unite is in a dispute with First Aberdeen over drivers’ contracts, with members voting in favour of industrial action.
Beginning today, an overtime ban was to come into effect followed by a series of one-day strikes, culminating in a week-long strike from March 26.
The dispute is a result of changes to terms and conditions in pay, overtime rates, sick pay and longer working days with split shifts.
Managing director of First Aberdeen Andrew Jarvis said he and other senior members of staff would be driving buses today as the action begins.
Mr Jarvis said: “I am disappointed that union representatives and their members have decided to vote in favour of industrial action which will inevitably impact on some of our customers.
“However, I would like to reassure all customers that, regardless of the upcoming industrial action at the King Street depot, we have some interim plans in place that have been published in advance, detailing the minimum service level we intend to run, but with every effort being made to improve on these frequencies throughout the day.”
He added: “I, along with some of my other senior colleagues, in addition to managers and supervisors from other First Bus businesses in Scotland and England will be driving today to keep the business functioning and provide a service to our valued customers.
“I would like to thank our customers in advance for their patience and understanding during this challenging time.
“We are operating in a very challenging economic climate and we need our union colleagues to work with us to find a solution to move the business forward and deliver a sustainable, comprehensive network of bus services to our local communities across Aberdeen.
“At the same time, secure jobs for employees that presently work with us and for future recruits wanting to join our business”.