"UNDERPAID" First bus drivers will strike in Glasgow later this month for one week.

Unite the Union has confirmed that more than 1200 employees voted by 99% in support of industrial action over a pay dispute.

Strikes are now scheduled to start at 4am on Friday, November 24 and will continue until Friday, December 1 when the action concludes at 3.59am.

It comes after 99% of drivers rejected a wage offer on the basis that it falls significantly below the pay levels of other drivers across First Group’s UK operations, according to Unite.

The workers are based in the following bus depots: Blantyre, Caledonia, Dumbarton, Overtown and Scotstoun.

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The drivers are employed by First Glasgow (No.1) and at First Glasgow (No.2). The companies are part of First Group PLC’s bus operations in Scotland.

There is a similar dispute at both companies involving around 150 Unite engineers where strike action is scheduled to take place on November, 16 and 17.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary said: "This is a very wealthy company which has plenty of money in the bank to make a better offer to our members.

“Our members' demand is simple, they want to be paid in line with other drivers across First Group.

“We will support our First Bus drivers all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite research has found that average pay per employee has failed to keep pace with inflation at either First Bus company, with a real terms decrease of 10% at Glasgow (No.2) and 8% at Glasgow (No.1) over the last five years.

These pay cuts translate to around £3,000 per year in lost pay.

First Glasgow (No.1) reported profits after tax year ending 26 March 2022 of £3.96m, whereas First Glasgow (No.2) reported a profit of £362,000.

Meanwhile First Group PLC executive director Ryan Mangold saw his total remuneration package hit a staggering £3.1m in 2023 up from £1.9m in the previous year.

Graham McNab, Unite industrial officer, added: “The dispute at First Bus is down to our drivers being underpaid and undervalued for a number of years.

“First Bus has millions sitting in the bank and its operations across Greater Glasgow recorded profits of £4.3 million last year.

“Unless First Bus moves quickly to improve their pay offer then our members will bring bus operations to a stop for a week beginning on 24 November. The ball is now firmly in First Bus’ court whether they want to escalate this dispute or resolve it in a speedy fashion.”

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A spokesperson for First Bus said: "We can confirm we have been notified of the intention to hold industrial action from 24th November to 1st December inclusive.

"This is despite us making an offer which would see a pay rise of over 11%, well above the rate of inflation."

“In recent years, First Glasgow has heavily invested in electrifying its fleet as well as making significant pay awards. The investment has exceeded any profit made and has ensured we have a far more sustainable business for the future.

“At First Bus, we look after our people and pay them a fair wage relative to the role they perform in the business. We have invested heavily in improving working conditions and enhanced benefits for our colleagues.

“We will be looking to continue discussions with union representatives in an attempt to reach a resolution.”