Bosses at an Aberdeen bus firm have made an eleventh hour offer to striking drivers in an effort to avert indefinite action.
The action, which was planned to start today, has now been postponed to allow for a ballot of union members.
Members of Unite the Union had rejected a deal from First Bus on Monday.
The bus firm has said the latest offer, put to the drivers yesterday, is the “absolute maximum that the company can sustain”.
Managing director of First in Scotland Andrew Jarvis said: “First Aberdeen has been successful with a last-ditch attempt to avoid indefinite strike action today via a full and final offer made to our Unite the Union colleagues.”
Mr Jarvis also said the offer was made on the condition that today’s action be postponed and a ballot held.
The process will take place today and tomorrow, with a result expected to come tomorrow evening.
Union repres-entatives have recommended that their members accept the deal.
Mr Jarvis continued: “This offer is the absolute maximum that the company can sustain and cannot be revised any further due to the financial challenges.”
First has said the strike has cost the firm between £100,000 and £200,000 in lost revenue, as well as bringing in other members of staff from around the country to cover.
Meanwhile, union chiefs say the offer improves the contract terms.
Willie Wallace, Unite the Union’s full-time officer, said: “Following the rejection in the ballot, Unite has had further discussions with First Bus that have concluded with amended proposals.
“We believe that these proposals are enough to suspend action planned for today.”
He also said that if the offer was again rejected by members, then the indefinite action may resume as early as Friday.
He said: “We believe we have moved First Bus a significant amount in the last few weeks.
“We believe that’s the best we are going to achieve and we will be recommending in the ballot that our members accept our proposals.”