Following a flat rejection of an initial 0.5 percent offer engineers at First kicked out a new 1.2 percent pay offer by 145 votes to three. The deal is the equivalent to just £6 extra a week for day shift workers.
Unite regional organiser Eddie Duffy told Socialist Worker, “Our argument has always been that workers have gone four years with below-inflation pay rises while the cost of living has shot up. Our members are angry they are not being offered more.
“We are now balloting to strike. When the ballot ends on the 9 July and our members vote to strike then that’s what we’ll do.”
News of First Group executives’ six-figure pay rises for 2014/15 has inflamed workers’ anger. Bus drivers at First Glasgow have also rejected a pay offer by 1,093 votes to 36.
Workers voted to accept a deal at mass meetings on Friday of last week giving a bonus payment of £150 and an extra £5 an hour for overtime. New shift patterns will mean more Saturdays off for engineers who maintain the trains on the network.
The Aslef union says it has secured a one-off bonus payment of £250 for drivers on Scotrail plus double time for working Sundays during the games.
An extra one million passenger journeys are expected over the 11-day event.