OVER 150 Norwich bus drivers attended an emergency union branch meeting on Sunday and rejected their employer Firstgroup's latest offer. Firstgroup has imposed new conditions which mean up to £18.50 per week loss of pay for many drivers because of cuts in paid breaks and working periods of up to 5.5 hours behind the wheel.
The old agreement limited driving time to 4 hours 8 minutes at a stretch, and all breaks were paid. One driver said, 'We're not asking for a pay rise or any special treatment. All we want is the company to honour our agreements.'
A previous meeting of over 250 drivers voted unanimously to ballot to strike against the changes. A driver said, 'Management have bitten off more than they can chew this time.' A ballot for strike action is under way and most drivers are already operating an unofficial overtime ban.
After years of putting up with low pay and bullying management, drivers are no longer prepared to put up with it.