BUS drivers went on strike across Gibraltar for better wages Wednesday after workers balloted by over 98% to take industrial action.
The government has since clashed with Unite the Union, with the government claiming the bus drivers are demanding ‘up to 89% pay rises’.
It said in a statement that it ‘will not enter into negotiations while strike action is ongoing’ but is prepared to get back to the table once it ends.
The government called the Union’s position is not taking ‘a credible or serious position, even as an opening negotiating position’.
The spokesperson said the dispute includes all grades in the bus company that already have a 10 year pay deal.
It published records of the wages that bus drivers earn, although it said the amounts of £5,500 and £6,500 were with allowances and overtime included.
But the union hit back on social media, saying the government was ‘quoting grossly inflated salary figures’. considering that the entry level rate for a drive is £10.44 per hour.
Unite considered the government’s position to be ‘inaccurate and unacceptable’ and said it demands similar wages to others at the same level in the public sector.
A driver for the Bus Company told GBC the job is relentless and comes with a lot of responsibility.
They can work as much as 12 days on the trot and only get two days off, often with shifts of up to 11 hours a day.
This strike action follows the successful pay rises for Morrisons workers of between 6.8% and 7.4%.
But this was achieved after a six month standoff protesting outside the supermarket, the longest ever in Gibraltar for Unite the Union.
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