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Bus drivers ballot over ‘exhausting’ shifts

Bus drivers ballot over ‘exhausting’ shifts

30 March 2017

Bus driver members of Unite the union employed by Stagecoach are balloting on strike action over shift patterns that could leave them ‘exhausted’ at the wheel. 

Over 120 drivers at Stagecoach’s Cumbernauld depot are expected to take long breaks of between two and three hours between running services – effectively forcing them to work split shifts.

Unite says these shifts will badly affect the work-life balance of drivers, as well as creating major health and safety concerns. 

Unite regional officer Wendy Dunsmore said: “Our driver members at Stagecoach already work hard to make sure that people across the west of Scotland can get to where they need to go. They deserve a decent working life, which allows them to have proper rest and proper time with their families.

“The shifts and rotas that Stagecoach wants to impose are completely unacceptable. We have real concerns that they will put our members and other road users at risk. No reasonable transport company would put profit over safety, but we believe that’s what’s happening here.

“Having a rest break of two to three hours in the middle of a shift will massively lengthen the drivers’ working day, and our fear is that it will leave them exhausted at the wheel. How is someone supposed to get proper rest when they are still effectively at work?

“Our members are angry – and they want to make the travelling public and other road users aware of what Stagecoach is trying to do. No union member moves to an official ballot for industrial action without a lot of heart-searching, but these drivers feel they are simply not being listened to.”

Drivers are being asked if they would support strike action against the changes. The ballot opened on Wednesday (29 March) and will close on 12 April. 

Any strike action could affect local bus services across west central Scotland, as well as intercity journeys run under the Citylink and Megabus brands.  

ENDS

Notes to editors 

For further information or to arrange an interview contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org