Scotland business

Lothian Buses drivers to vote over strike action

Lothian Buses

Bus drivers in Edinburgh will take indefinite strike action from the end of next week, unless they accept a last-minute offer in a long-running dispute with management.

A total of 1,700 drivers will be balloted on Friday on a deal which includes a 2.7% pay rise.

It also includes new measures to address concerns over bullying.

If the offer is rejected, action will start at 03:00 on 2 August, the first day of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Unite has blamed the dispute on "poor workplace relations and a hostile culture at Lothian Buses".

In June, staff voted for strike action. More than 63% of union members took part in the ballot, with about 91.3% backing a walkout.

Talks at the arbitration service Acas resulted in a deal which was rejected by the workforce. The revised offer followed further discussions which took place last week.

'Good offer'

Officials from Unite have recommended that its members accept the revised deal.

Regional industrial officer Lyn Turner said: "It's a good offer and a better deal than the last time. I'm hoping that they will accept it."

Lothian Buses managing director Richard Hall said: "We have had positive discussions with Unite which has now led to a deal being agreed between Lothian and union officials.

"They have agreed this will be taken forward to their members with a recommendation to accept the proposal.

"It is the hope of both parties that this agreement can be passed in order to avoid disruption at one of the busiest times of year in the city."