Socialist Worker

Aberdeen workers settle dispute

by Stephen Fiddes
Issue No. 2169

The dispute at First Aberdeen has come to an end after workers voted to accept the latest pay offer from the company.

The deal sees workers maintain entitle­ments such as paid breaks and holidays which First was determined to cut.

However, they did not win their demand for a 4 percent pay rise, and will only receive a rise of 2 percent next year, with their pay being frozen this year.

The settlement followed intervention from the leaders of Aberdeen council, who proposed talks with First management and union representatives, despite the council’s supposed neutrality on industrial disputes.

The union had planned strike action during Offshore Europe, a major oil and gas conference that was held in the city.

This presented the workers with their best opportunity to force First to meet their demands, but the union suspended the stoppages as soon as First made the new offer.

It differed very little from previous offers, with an extra day’s holiday the only real difference.

The union then recommended that members accept the offer and 85 percent voted to do so.

The union’s continual re-balloting of the workforce on virtually the same deal demoralised people.

An indefinite all-out strike could have seen the workers win all of their demands, as First are the only bus service provider in the city.

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Tue 15 Sep 2009, 19:34 BST
Issue No. 2169
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