Unite the union has today (22 August) officially informed First Glasgow that it intends to ballot drivers for industrial action, including strikes, to protect public safety.

First Glasgow has registered service changes beginning in October, which will result in significant cuts in running times and recovery times for drivers. Unite believes the introduction of the changes, without any consultation, will be a direct threat to public safety and are motivated by a drive to further increase profits. This is the first time that no consultation has taken place, which Unite believes can only be viewed as a suspicious development. In addition, it is believed that as a result of slashing running times there will be a reduction of buses available to the public.

Unite’s consultative ballot will take place during September. It is anticipated that drivers will support Unite’s continued stance of supporting members, supporting public services and supporting those most vulnerable in our communities.

Mick Dowds, Unite’s national convenor, stated: “Unite members are furious that at a time when public safety is paramount and after Unite welcomed the Speed Awareness Agreement alongside supporting other health and safety initiatives such as ‘Destressing the Driver’, First Glasgow is blatantly scurrying around with a new set of rosters. This will directly impact on drivers’ wellbeing and could have a catastrophic effect on passengers and the public.

“First Group announced some time ago that it intended to sell its passenger operations including its flagship First Glasgow company. This latest development highlights exactly why Unite has been calling on local authorities such as Glasgow to bring passenger services back into public and municipal ownership. This is essential to ensure services meet the needs of communities and those most vulnerable in society rather than having diminished services in the chase for profit.”

ENDS

For further information or interviews contact Mick Dowds on 07976 810606.

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.