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Aberdeen bus drivers could take industrial action against new pay deal

Friday January 12th 2018 at 9:42 AM

Bus drivers in Aberdeen could soon be taking industrial action after union members rejected a new pay deal from First.

98% of voters turned down the latest offer – which Unite the Union says gives them a mandate for industrial action, though talks are understood to be planned next week.

It’s estimated it could leave bus drivers between £4000 and £6000 worse off every year, paired with less time off and fewer shifts.

The bus operator says it is “crucial” to consolidate its drivers under a more “cost-effective” pay structure – blaming the downturn in the North East economy.

Mike Flynn from Unite said: “When I joined the company thirty years ago a lot of these things were in place, and they were well fought for by drivers in the 1970’s and 80’s – they took small pay rises to achieve that.

“In the last few years, drivers have taken small pay awards to assist the company and keep everything in place. For them to now put out a new contract and force drivers on to it will take away probably about 10 years of wage increases.

“Drivers are extremely angry because they’ve supported the company through the years. There are a lot of long-term drivers who have been with the company for upwards of thirty years, like myself, and we have helped First from coming out of council into private ownership.

“We’ve helped them for many years, supported where we could by taking lower pay rises to help the company out and keep them making profits, and now they’ve come back and say they’ll no longer give you what you’re used to, here’s a new one with nothing in it.”

First Aberdeen Managing Director Andrew Jarvis said:”We were disappointed by the result of the ballot and are due to meet Unite representatives next week for further talks.”

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