Union bosses are hopeful that a meeting with a mediation service will avert an indefinite bus strike next week.
Bus drivers at First Aberdeen went back to work yesterday following a week of industrial action.
But an indefinite strike period has been scheduled to begin this Friday.
An agreement could not be reached in a meeting with management last Tuesday, and First Aberdeen has since officially asked for a meeting with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
The issue of mediation had been suggested by Union negotiators earlier in discussions, with First’s managing director for Scotland Andrew Jarvis saying that the conversation was had, but both sides felt that it was not yet necessary.
However, Graham Gavin, branch convener for Unite the Union, told the Evening Express that Mr Jarvis had rejected the proposition out of hand when it was mentioned in a previous meeting.
Mr Gavin said: “We’re hoping to get a meeting with ACAS early in the week.
“ACAS has worked in the past, and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work now.
“At the end of the day, we’re hoping for a sensible resolution for this.
“We’ve been asked to give up a huge amount, and the company is going to have to accept that they can’t take as much from us as they wanted to in their original proposal.”
Mr Gavin also said that it is now for the First negotiators to concede.
He said: “They keep saying they’re giving something back, but they’re not, they’re just taking less away.”
First Aberdeen has confirmed it officially wrote to ACAS on Friday, but have not received a response due to the bank holiday weekend.
Mr Jarvis also told the Evening Express the company may have to reduce their offer to workers if the strike continues, something which Mr Gavin described as a “foolish move”.
He said: “I think it would just go to strengthen the resolve of the staff if they were to try that.
“They’re faced with an imminent, indefinite strike anyway, and I don’t think it would do the company any favours if they were to do that.”