Not a single bus left the First Bus depot in Aberdeen last Saturday as drivers, mechanics and cleaners who are members of the Unite union struck in support of a 5 percent pay claim.
A large picket assembled at the gate of the depot from the early hours. The mood of the picket was buoyant and good humoured.
Passing motorists, lorry drivers and bus drivers for the Stagecoach bus company – which runs rural services in the area – all hooted in support.
Stagecoach drivers are also in dispute and have held two one day strikes in recent weeks.
First Bus bosses’ original meagre offer of 3.75 percent was increased by a mere 0.25 percent, to 4 percent, at talks late last week.
One of the workers on the picket line highlighted the employers’ intransigence when he said that the strike action was costing more than it would to settle the dispute.
The company had also taken out a costly full page advert in the local paper denouncing the strike action.
The pickets were joined by stewards from the council workers’ Unison union and by students from the University of Aberdeen who came along to show solidarity.
Further action is to take place this Friday and Saturday when the workers will come out for 48 hours and again for another 48 hours the following weekend in the run up to Christmas.
The action also includes an overtime ban.
The union leadership should be calling for joint action by the workers of both Stagecoach and First Bus in order to secure a decisive victory.
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