BUS workers at depots in Renfrewshire have voted to go on strike over a pay dispute.

Unite officials announced yesterday that McGill’s drivers, shunters and labourers in Johnstone and Inchinnan will take industrial action later this month.

The trade union said the dispute centres on former Arriva staff being paid up to 14 per cent less than their McGill’s counterparts since transferring to the firm in 2011.

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According to Unite, some members have remained on Arriva contracts and suffered successive pay freezes since the transfer, while those who were already with McGill’s have landed several wage increases that mean their wages have now ‘overtaken’ those of their colleagues.

The strike is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 26, and will see drivers take 24 hours of industrial action, as well as the introduction of an overtime ban.

Further action is planned for December 2 and 9 but McGill’s chiefs insist bus services will not be affected.

Kenny Jordan, Unite’s regional industrial officer, said: “The pay catch-up between the ex-Arriva workers and the McGill’s workers due to the transfer in 2011 was achieved in early 2017. However, this has now caused a significant pay differential because ex-Arriva staff are now being paid between eight and 14 per cent less than their co-workers. The tables have now turned.

“Unite’s members who previously worked for Arriva have been extremely patient and accepted that McGill’s rates had to catch up.

“However, this position has been used as a cover by management to suppress the wages of around 50 of our members for eight years, which is not acceptable.

“The strong mandate we have received for industrial action is a reflection of the anger and injustice felt by the workers, resulting in a series of days of action beginning from November 26.”

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He added: “We don’t want to disrupt passengers and bus users. However, if there is disruption, it is the fault of McGill’s.

“We remain open to discussion, should there be a shift.”

A spokesperson for McGill’s said: “We have repeatedly and consistently offered pay parity for the ex-Arriva staff since they came on board in March 2012. This offer still stands and we would hope this group of employees take up this offer to increase their take-home pay.

“There is enough resilience within McGill’s to ensure the strikes do not affect any bus services.”

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