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Is anyone else finding this strike rather pathetic and misguided given the current economic climate? I have recently received a 10% pay cut and many other folk in the oil industry have been hit with higher cuts. Bus drivers aren't exactly on minimum wage and are obviously using the fact that a strike on their part has a large impact in terms of effect on the public...personally I can't see them gleaning much sympathy when many folk are probably worried about their jobs anyway and could do without being late etc due to the bus strike.

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From what I see, it's a bit complicated because they get various allowances, enhancements depending on what shifts they work, etc. but according to the First site -

Attributable to Bob Dorr, Managing Director

"Our drivers in Aberdeen do a terrific job. However, our drivers are already amongst the highest earners in our UK Bus operations. For the year 2008/09 six drivers (full time) earned a gross salary of 34,000 or above. In the same period 30 (full time) drivers earned a gross salary of 30,000 or above. On average in 2008/09 our full time drivers earned 25,376.

A proportion of drivers' take home pay is made up of generous allowances which includes overtime but also shift allowances, and even meal breaks."

I think they were banking on people being annoyed at how much profit First have been making without 'sharing it out'. However I think most people would like to see it 'shared out' in lower fares, rather than more money for drivers.

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Guest idol_wild

The day a bus driver is polite and curteous to me as a punter will be the day I may exude some sympathy for them.

The strikes are pretty pathetic really. I was embroiled in the postal strikes of two years ago and it was pretty horrible. The strike team was largely led by absolute fucking monkeys, and it came of no surprise to me that the same men that were leading the strike actions were the same men who were known to be lazy and inconsiderate postmen. I wanted no part of the strike, indeed, I couldn't give a flying fuck about what they were striking about - I just wanted to do my job - but it was made clear to me that if I attended work on the day of the strikes that things could get pretty nasty for me.

So I had to lose out on about a week's worth of pay because of strikes. Pretty ridiculous.

I fucking hate strikes.

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There seems to be a big jump between what the bus drivers say they get paid and what the company says they get paid. The bus drivers reckon they're getting paid about 18k pa while the company says they are taking home 25k pa. I think both sides are exaggerating the truth, from what I understand. Steve from Cobra Kai worked as a First driver for years and from what I remember him telling me the basic wage is around 18k, BUT they pay a LOT of bonuses on top of that, for unsociable hours and a few other things that I can't remember, plus the drivers can work as many hours as they like (within reason).

The 18k figure (or whatever the drivers are quoting) isn't strictly true, because that's based on a flat 40 hour week of working day shifts with no bonuses or overtime. While the 26k figure the company are quoting is based on a driver doing like 60 hours a week all early mornings and late nights (for the unsociable hours bonuses), plus claiming for all the stuff they do on their own time like checking over the buses before they leave the depot etc. So both sides are stretching the truth to their own end - the quote from Frosty Jack above does point out that this figure includes overtime and bonuses.

I'm all for anybody taking industrial action if they think they are getting a raw deal, but when it inconveniences the public to this extent they should really try and find another way to make their point.

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I think the idea that you should strike because the company you work for makes too much money is absurd. The company i work for makes millions yet i earn less than the bus drivers do! Thats just life! The drivers should realise that businesses are in no way obliged to hand out their profits to their staff.

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When I worked in Switzerland the efficiency (and cheapness) of the public transport over there really put First to shame. The buses on all routes run every 15 minutes, and if they are due to arrive at 12.51, they arrive at 12.51 on the dot. If they are due to leave at 12.53, they leave at 12.53 on the dot. None of this standing for 45 minutes, then three buses coming along at the same time. And they have the same problems in Geneva that First cry about over here, snow on the roads, road works, traffics jams etc. but they still manage to run on time. Nowhere in the city costs more than 1 to get to, and the buses are spotless on the inside.

The most remarkable thing is you don't pay the driver, every bus stop throughout the city has a ticket machine at it, and you just put your coins in there and buy a ticket to where you want to go. Then when the bus comes, three sets of doors open and you just get in and sit down, no-one checks your ticket at any point. It works entirely on the honour system, and it actually works.

Can you imagine First trying to implement that here? :laughing: For a start all the ticket machines would be vandalised, not that I suppose half the people would actually pay for their ticket anyway....

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Guest idol_wild
When I worked in Switzerland the efficiency (and cheapness) of the public transport over there really put First to shame. The buses on all routes run every 15 minutes, and if they are due to arrive at 12.51, they arrive at 12.51 on the dot. If they are due to leave at 12.53, they leave at 12.53 on the dot. None of this standing for 45 minutes, then three buses coming along at the same time. And they have the same problems in Geneva that First cry about over here, snow on the roads, road works, traffics jams etc. but they still manage to run on time. Nowhere in the city costs more than 1 to get to, and the buses are spotless on the inside.

The most remarkable thing is you don't pay the driver, every bus stop throughout the city has a ticket machine at it, and you just put your coins in there and buy a ticket to where you want to go. Then when the bus comes, three sets of doors open and you just get in and sit down, no-one checks your ticket at any point. It works entirely on the honour system, and it actually works.

Can you imagine First trying to implement that here? :laughing: For a start all the ticket machines would be vandalised, not that I suppose half the people would actually pay for their ticket anyway....

There was a similar scheme in place when I visited Berlin. Though it wasn't buses, it was the overground monorail called the S-Bahn. I'll be honest: My comrades and I rarely paid for this service while we were there, simply because we're cheap bastards and we got away with it. But despite so many people probably doing the same as we did, it must still yield plenty of profit.

But yes, in the UK, this sort of infrastructure would fail immeasurably - purely because the lack of respect our nation generally has towards people and things.

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Fuck First and fuck their drivers. They all make too much money. Any increase in their wages will inevitably come out of the public's pockets.

Here's a question; who pays for all the bus infrastructure - bus lanes, shelters and so on? Is it, as I suspect, the council?

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Strike action works, it shows worker's power and that cunt Bob Dorr had to resort to putting up a full page ad of lies in the Evening Depressed last week, which showed how much the threat of strike rattles the fat cat bastard.

I had to walk home from the train station yesterday after a day's training in Glasgow, which involved getting up at half 5. By the time I got back there were no First buses running so a walk of a few miles when you're already dog-tired wasn't a prospect to relish, but I still didn't grudge them their right to take strike action.

If anyone seriously believes they're angling for a 52% increase then they need their head looked at. It's a whopping 4%, which isn't too much to ask in the current climate.

How much is Bob Dorr creaming off in salary?

:up:

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But despite so many people probably doing the same as we did

Sorry to stereotype but Germans have a habit of following the rules, so it's probably less people than you think. That's why they have a system like that and we don't.

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It's a whopping 4%, which isn't too much to ask in the current climate.

I'm led to believe they got a pay rise of a similar percentage in December as well though. You know when they striked 3 saturdays in a row in December? - Which was ridiculous. They seemed to get a fair bit of public support. Shame they were all motorists and taxi drivers who were on the opposite end of baring the brunt of the strike.

In the current climate, they should feel lucky to actually have a job, and the wage they are on isn't half bad at all. Cunts need to suck it up and get back to fucking work.

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Guest idol_wild
Sorry to stereotype but Germans have a habit of following the rules, so it's probably less people than you think. That's why they have a system like that and we don't.

I wasn't necessarily referring to Germans. Berlin is quite the tourist attraction, y'know.

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Two years ago my company decided not to hand out pay rises and they have said the same thing this year and unless things turn round then it will be the same next year.

Did anyone strike?? No?

When you sign up for a Job you know what the pay is. If you don't like it then why not look for a higher paying job.

The drivers are getting a great pay deal when compared to people working in the likes of Asdas. Wall mart is like third in the Fortune 500 list of companies making serious profit when most of the workers are barely over the minimum wage. Do they strike?? no.

If your just turning up to work and fulfilling your terms of reference then why should you get more money???

Why don't the bus drivers put their heads together and create Second Bus! I think they would be onto a winner! Who cares what bus your actually on as long as its on your route! Id take any bus, even a big yellow one to get from a to b. Start your own bus company make a mint!

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I had to laugh at the fact that a spokesman for the drivers classed tham as "skilled" workers, is driving a bus really skilled work? I think not. If that was the case, we would have to class everyone who drove anything for a living as a skilled worker, whether it was a van, forklift or bus.

I think its more a fact that people end up driving buses as they don't have the qualifications or skills to do anything else. With this in mind, I would suggest they are already on excellent wages, and should get back to work, stop moaning, and make sure my Mum gets to her appointments on time :swearing:

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Being able to drive a vehicle of that size and nature requires a certain license and training to achieve, so yeah, it is a skill, whether it looks like a piece of piss or not. Still though. Cunts need to get back to their piss easy job.

I see your point. But storemen need pieces of paper and licenses to work in stores in certain area's, does that mean they are skilled? You need a license to drive a car to deliver Pizza, is that skilled work?

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I'm all for anybody taking industrial action if they think they are getting a raw deal, but when it inconveniences the public to this extent they should really try and find another way to make their point.

They did. Last December before the strikes, they drove the buses around really slowly, and kicked people off the bus when they said they were due for a break. I was a victim of this, as I got on before the Tillydrone terminus, along with a few other people. They happily took the money (not from me. Luckily I had a pass at the time). Got round the block to the terminus, said it was the end of the line, chucked everyone off and drove back to King St. It was freezing cold, buses just weren't showing up at all, and I was about 1/2 mile in the other direction from where I wanted to be. There seemed to be quite alot of this happening at the time all over the city. The Tillydrone bus was generally a nightmare back then too. Seems to have improved a fair bit now, but I don't take the bus anymore.

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