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Striking bus drivers

(17 Posts)
Grammaretto Wed 31-Jul-19 09:38:22

The Lothian Bus drivers have agreed to strike on the first day of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. That is the 15,000 drivers who drive the majority of Edinburgh's fleet. Trains and trams and other bus companies are not affected BUT it will have a huge impact.
My first reaction was anti the drivers. I tend to think that strikes impact on the wrong people.
However after reading the back story, it is a long held grievance about workplace bullying by management who even now think that by offering a sweetener of a small pay rise, everyone can go home happy.

I still think it will be nurses and others trying to get to work, who'll be worst affected by this strike and won't be as sympathetic as the drivers would like but what do others
Managers will presumably be insulated in their cars as they don't use the buses.

dragonfly46 Wed 31-Jul-19 09:42:25

Unfortunately strikes like this always hit the wrong people. It is a Catch 22 situation. Maybe management will do something better than throw money at it and nip it in the bud.

Minniemoo Wed 31-Jul-19 09:54:40

I read this with great interest. I see this is due to bullying by management. This seems to becoming more and more prevalent. Both in the private and public sector. Managers are becoming far less approachable and life at work is turning into a trial for many with every movement being tracked.

I have known many people leaving work for this exact reason. Those who are lucky enough to retire early and are able to survive are the fortunate ones. Not everyone has that luxury. But my OH has worked for 30 odd years at the same place and has mentioned how tired his colleagues are with the way they are being 'managed'.

I do have sympathy with the bus drivers but of course those who suffer will also be the very same people who are struggling to get into work where they possibly are dealing with similar problems.

Tricky one but it's sad if we're allowing those in charge to start bullying their staff.

Urmstongran Wed 31-Jul-19 10:08:15

Unions are a must for workers.
The only leverage he/she has is to work to rule or strike if a situation demands it.
Otherwise the employer has the upper hand every time.

It is often a last resort stance. The workers are out of pocket too until the impasse is over.

Jane10 Wed 31-Jul-19 11:07:55

I will be badly affected by the bus strike but am in complete sympathy with the drivers. They are a pleasant cheerful lot who have a hard enough job without being made to feel bad by their managers. I'll happily walk if necessary or drive if I have to but parking is a massive problem in Edinburgh.
I suspect its a matter who will blink first. My money is on the management caving in! Fingers crossed.

wildswan16 Wed 31-Jul-19 11:23:27

My fingers are crossed too Jane10! Lothian bus drivers are the absolute best - they manage the thousands of tourists using the buses with great patience - explaining the ticketing system, sorting out their money etc, and always with a smile on their face. They get up and help mums with buggies and older folk with walking aids. They wait if they see someone running to the stop. They negotiate our never-ending (Leith Walk) roadworks with good humour.

A strike by a majority of drivers will cause chaos at this time of year - but maybe that is their only option.

Urmstongran Wed 31-Jul-19 12:32:00

The pilots union, Balpa, can now go ahead with planned strikes with two weeks’ notice.^

“BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution,” Balpa’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said.


Grammaretto Wed 31-Jul-19 14:04:03

It seems that at last Scottish government have got involved so something may happen to either call off the strike or deal with the problems. Preferably both.

Grammaretto Wed 31-Jul-19 14:12:02

I asked the driver just now what was happening. He has no idea but then they are always the last to know.

petra Wed 31-Jul-19 14:14:03

Striking is the only weapon the working man has.
Very few people who go out on strike do it on a whim.
Unfortunately we rarely hear the back story.
Yes, of course, people are going to be inconvenienced but what other options do you have than to withdraw your labour.

Jane10 Wed 31-Jul-19 15:28:13

Hot news! The strike is off or at least postponed. Talks continuing but buses will be running on Friday.
Oh no! No excuse to miss yoga!

WadesNan Wed 31-Jul-19 15:33:03

I have always had a great deal of respect for bus drivers, they put up with traffic jams, idiot drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, unpleasant rude and sometimes violent passengers.

Perhaps instead of striking they could just refuse to take fares for a day

Grammaretto Wed 31-Jul-19 17:39:48

Thanks for that news Jane10
I hope the drivers get some satisfaction and improved conditions.
Seemingly the boss man had threatened to bring in untrained staff from elsewhere.

Grandad1943 Wed 31-Jul-19 19:03:02

It is good to hear that this dispute has returned to the negotiating table. However, I believe that the fact that the dispute has arisen from accusations of the management bullying of drivers is important as this has now undoubtedly become a major problem throughout the road transport industry.

From the early 1960s until the mid-1980s I was a HGV driver and I have since then retained strong connections to that industry through my role in industrial safety. In my original role as a driver, all who were in management positions had gained those offices by way of progressing from the shop floor.

In the above, those supervisors and managers were very aware of all aspects of the industry and the everyday problems that drivers and distribution staff encountered as they had carried out those roles themselves. Equally, you could not "pull the wool" over their eyes as they knew as much driving those trucks as any driver would, and in that much respect and cooperation was gained on all sides. The road transport Bus and Coach passenger industry was much the same in terms of management appointments and structure throughout those years.

However, that situations began to change in the mid-1990s with at first senior managers being recruited from graduate people and that has progressed down through the management structure until today even supervisors are recruited from outside the industry on the basis of those persons applying for such positions educational qualifications along with the bull they state in their CVs

Therefore, we have a situation today where throughout the line management in the transport industry very few (if any) have direct experience of the everyday operational problems drivers face and that can also be the same with all other shop floor workers in the industry. The foregoing all too often brings about a lack of respect and understanding on all sides as management are always under great pressure to bring about the best financial results considered possible.

The problem is that road transport never has been and can never be were anything can be guaranteed. Delays occur for a multitude of reasons and those delays often cannot be made up by drivers and other staff and then have a "knock-on effect" on other schedules and operations. The foregoing can cause stress in the line management which all too often results in bullying of drivers and others under their supervision.

The above is a very derogatory factor in commercial transport and is undoubtedly responsible for many experienced drivers, vehicle technicians and other support staff leaving the industry causing huge staffing problems and leading to even greater stress among all still involved. My own company have investigated and advised on any number of safety breaches by divers and other staff in recent times where those accused of such breaches have at disciplinary hearings taken against them stated that bullying by line managers brought about their actions.

It has become a very serious and growing issue in the transport industry which has to be somehow resolved.

Grammaretto Wed 31-Jul-19 22:17:43

Well said Grandad. it's interesting to read your thoughts from a lot of personal experience.

I remember one local privately owned bus company MacEwans which was eventually taken over by Stagecoach. He left in a cloud of black smoke, I believe.

You always had to flag these buses down and when the last one of the day failed to stop for me I rang the company to complain. Straight through to the owner/manager Mr MacEwan who said "I must remind my drivers that we need passengers in order to run a bus company" He wasn't being funny.

ElaineI Thu 01-Aug-19 00:35:55

Nurses will be absolutely sympathetic as they suffer the same bullying by management and poor wage rises. There is an ongoing dispute with the Scottish Government about whistleblowing in the NHS and believe me the bullying is part of it. Could write a story but would make things worse.
Same as bad weather - staff have to report to nearest NHS facility if unable to get to work. Otherwise wages will be docked.

Jane10 Thu 01-Aug-19 10:28:22

They're voting again on 9th August. I hope the management understand the large degree of support we all have for the drivers!