Bus bosses have apologised to customers for disruption caused during a drivers’ strike as union members today prepared to vote on their latest offer.
First Aberdeen said sorry to passengers who have been affected by 10 days of industrial action in recent weeks.
Following discussions between First and Unite the Union, the two parties reached an agreement that could be put to the striking workers.
The talks, held yesterday and Wednesday, were mediated by the Advisory, Conciliatory and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
ACAS had been called in following a breakdown in talks last week.
Union negotiators were looking for a £10 basic rate of pay, something First Aberdeen said it was unable to reach for every driver.
David Phillips, operations director for First Aberdeen, said: “We would like to apologise to customers for the impact on their journeys and hope this action will soon be concluded.
“At every stage in the process, we’ve had to offer our sincere apologies to those that have been affected.
“In the days where the industrial action has been ongoing, we’ve tried to run the service to the best of our ability.
“We’ve drawn upon resources from across the country, and have been able to run about 60% of our services during peak time.”
Mr Phillips would not outline the terms of the offer, saying that he wanted to “respect the process” of the ballot.
He did say, however, that the contentious £10 rate of pay was included in the offer.
When asked if he was confident the offer would be passed by the membership, Mr Phillips said: “You can’t be confident, but we’ve got to the position that we feel hopeful that the membership will vote in the same way as the negotiating committee and that will put an end to the dispute.”
Willie Wallace, Unite the Union’s regional officer, said: “From the union’s point of view there has been a significant enough shift in the company’s position to justify putting the new offer to the First Bus drivers.”
If bus drivers who are members of the union decide to reject the offer, an indefinite strike will take place starting on Wednesday.