Unite to ballot Lothian Buses drivers in Edinburgh over strike
A bus strike could hit Edinburgh during its festival season in August, union officials have confirmed.
The Unite union said it was beginning a formal four week ballot of its members at Lothian Buses next Thursday. A consultative vote last month found 94% support for strike action.
It follows a bus driver being sacked in December and 10 others suspended over Facebook posts on a closed page.
A Lothian Buses spokeswoman said they were "hugely frustrated".
Unite regional industrial officer, Lyn Turner, said: "Unite has tried repeatedly to engage Lothian Buses management to address these important issues.
"Lothian Buses have an opportunity to resolve this before the end of the ballot, which we are confident will show overwhelmingly support strike action.
"If they do not, then the public of Edinburgh and its politicians will have to ask serious questions as to why Lothian Buses seem hell-bent on engineering industrial action during the month of August when the Fringe and International Festival is on.
"This will only bring widespread disruption to the city but in those circumstances there will be only one party to blame."
A Lothian Buses spokeswoman said: "We are hugely frustrated that the union leadership would ask its hard-working members to go on strike at a time when visitors from across the world are descending upon Edinburgh.
"We remain very willing to engage with the union to prevent disruption to the residents of Edinburgh, tourists and visitors to our Capital and the subsequent loss of revenue and wages to the business and drivers respectively."