Bus Strike Looms As Deal Rejected

A potential strike by 150 bus engineers is back on after workers rejected a pay deal.

First Glasgow announced last week that the industrial action by Unite members had been withdrawn after negotiations between the company and the union over a 1.2% pay award, but members have rejected the deal and a new ballot on strike action will now be held.

Further talks between First and the union have also been agreed.

First Glasgow said it was "surprised and disappointed'' that engineers rejected the offer.

"The 1.2% offer was one that Unite themselves tabled when they were already aware of executive pay at plc board level, and to which after discussion we agreed,'' managing director Fiona Kerr said.

"Indeed we had proposed a number of options including offering the security of a pay increase for each of the next two years, but these were rejected by Unite the union in favour of recommending the offer that was then tabled with our employees.

"We are operating in a very challenging market in Glasgow, put under extra pressure by cuts in funding and increasing costs. In the last two years we have taken hard decisions to close a depot and to implement a two year wage freeze for many of our drivers. We are simply not prepared to fund a pay award for engineers by asking customers to pay higher fares, or to jeopardise long term job security.''

The ballot for industrial action comes only weeks ahead of the opening ceremony for Glasgow 2014.

It is understood talks are continuing in a separate union dispute with Glasgow Subway operators Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) over extra pay during the Games.


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