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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 10:43 GMT
Bus services face one-day strike
FirstBus bus
Bus services are likely to be affected by the strike on Monday
A one-day strike has been confirmed on FirstBus services in the Borders in a dispute over wages.

About 80 drivers are expected to stage the stoppage on Monday with services in the region and routes to Edinburgh expected to be affected.

Staff say their hourly pay rate is less than that of Central Belt colleagues.

First's managing director Jane Desmond said the company was "extremely disappointed" a deal recommended by union officials had been rejected.

The dispute also concerns plans to switch from a four-day to a five-day week.

The strike move follows the rejection of an offer from First which was presented to drivers by Unite union representatives.

Passenger apology

Ms Desmond said: "We are extremely disappointed that this deal has been rejected especially as this latest offer was proposed and recommended by the union.

"We remain prepared to work with the drivers' representatives and will do all we can to avert this industrial action.

"However, I would like to apologise to any passengers who may be affected by this."

Sandy Smart, regional industrial organiser of the Transport and General section of the Unite union, said: "There have been discussions since February and we have been trying to get this resolved.

"We would argue that the company are being just plain awkward and unwilling to move."

He warned the membership may decide to stage further one day strikes if the dispute dragged on.

SEE ALSO
Bus strike called off after talks
22 Nov 07 |  South of Scotland
First warned over bus disruption
22 Jun 07 |  Tayside and Central
FirstGroup buys Greyhound buses
09 Feb 07 |  Business

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