Commuters in Dundee face weeks of travel misery as a bus company slashes its timetables amid a walkout by workers.
Around 200 Xplore Dundee workers based at the city’s East Dock Street depot will strike for 12 weeks from Monday, Unite confirmed on Friday after last ditch talks with the bus firm failed to provide a breakthrough.
The bus company has warned the strike will mean most services will run to a modified Sunday timetable – with services running every 30 to 60 minutes during the day on its core routes.
Some services, including Dundee and Fife school buses, will be suspended, the firm said, but some extra early morning journeys had been added for those travelling to work, including those to and from Ninewells Hospital.
Dougie Maguire, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: “The only thing that will prevent strike action from happening is if the company significantly improve their pay offer. It really is that simple.
“Either the company value their workers and are prepared to pay them to going rate, which they can well afford, or they instead want strike action.”
Workers involved in the strike – which was backed by 93% of those who took part in the ballot – include drivers, duty managers, platform and admin staff.
Unite members had rejected a 7% rise, which the union said had not been improved, and that discussions at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) on Friday made no progress.
Mr Maguire said: “Xplore Dundee management in a last ditch attempt to stop the imminent strike action sought talks with us through Acas.
“It was a cynical move on the last day possible when they have had months to resolve this dispute.”
Mr Roberts said the company had amended its offer to “try to meet the union’s aspirations” but that “the union are unwilling to put this offer before their members and we couldn’t reach agreement”.
“The strike will now go ahead as planned. McGill’s will endeavour to minimise the disruption to our customers as much as possible by running a modified Sunday timetable,” he said.
“We will be writing to our staff in the coming days to reiterate the improved offer that was made.”
Ahead of Monday’s strike, Unite claimed its members had fallen behind those who work at other similar bus firms across Tayside and Fife.
The union claimed workers in other companies enjoyed more competitive rates of pay, and have access to overtime pay and a company sick pay scheme.
Workers had recently supported striking at Xplore Dundee. Some 93% of the 88.6% who took part in the ballot backed the walkout.