Unite members at Lothian Buses will hold a consultative ballot for industrial action following concerns over bullying and harassment.
At a meeting attended by all Unite shop stewards at Lothian Buses except the Central depot last night (27 July), a decision was taken to press ahead with a consultative ballot unless a number of issues are immediately addressed.
Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian Buses, unilaterally withdrew the provision of safety gloves for drivers using manual ramps for wheelchairs instead of mechanical ramps. The move designed to save £400,000 was agreed to with the workforce on the basis that safety gloves would be provided for drivers to perform the function. The move follows recent actions by Operations Director, Sarah Boyd, to exclude the attendance of Unite representatives at various meetings affecting the management and operations of the publicly-owned company in breach of the collective agreements in place.
Unite regional officer Tony Trench said: “The intimidation of union members by Lothian Buses management is a disgraceful development. Unite members are being banned from attending meetings relating to the operations of the buses in clear breach of our collective agreements. The actions by Richard Hall to remove the safety glove provision are also beyond belief, and worse than that it’s dangerous.
"Unless these hostile decisions are reversed, Unite will have no option but to launch a consultative ballot for industrial action. I am sure the public of Edinburgh will be utterly dismayed by the actions of Lothian Buses management who are prepared to risk widespread disruption due to a failure to include the workforce in meetings and to ensure the safety of drivers at little cost.”
For further information or comment contact Unite regional officer Tony Trench on 07810 157913.
- Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty