Socialist Worker

Aberdeen bus drivers vote to shift resistance up a gear

by Gerard McCabe
Issue No. 2597

Bus workers are determined to take on bosses attacks

Bus workers are determined to take on bosses' attacks (Pic: Realdude85)

Striking bus workers in Aberdeen voted unanimously to escalate their action at a mass meeting of over 150 people last Wednesday.

Around 250 Unite union members, who are fighting to defend their terms and conditions, plan to walk out for 28 days from Friday of next week.

It’s the day that First Bus bosses have threatened to impose new contracts.

Workers voted by 95 percent to strike over the new contracts.

They would see some drivers work a 12-hour shift and drive for up to ten hours during that day. They would also cut holiday pay and pensions. There would be more split shift working, which makes people work more frequently.

On the picket line drivers who had worked split shifts with other bus companies spoke about their impact.

They talked about the effect it had on their physical and mental health, and how badly it affected their family relationships.

The workers are now into the second week of strikes, having walked out for a further seven days on Sunday.

There has been a strong picket on all of the strike days, with lots of support from passing traffic and pedestrians and the local trades council and other unions.

Very few buses are leaving the depot and bosses are only able to run a few services.Workers raised some concerns about the use of scab labour.

Scabs are thought to include some local drivers and an estimated 25 workers from outside Aberdeen.

Workers were also concerned that a fuel tanker was allowed to leave the depot unchallenged.

On the picket lines one of the striking drivers commented on the support they had received from striking UCU university union members.

In Aberdeen the UCU picket line and the Unite picket were less than half a mile apart.

Every trade unionist should support the Aberdeen bus workers’ fight.

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