It is disconcerting to learn that the drivers of Lothian Buses, through their union, Unite, have given notice that they are set to take strike action at the end of next week, at the beginning of the city’s main festival period.
Of course, the drivers have to time their action to ensure that it is at its most effective and the opening of the summer festival season provides them with the ideal opportunity, but it will be the people who live and work in Edinburgh who will be the hardest hit if the buses cease to run.
This paper has previously documented accusations of the existence of a bullying culture which pervades the current management and although it has been denied, what cannot be denied is the keen sense of grievance that the drivers feel with an official ballot returning a 91 per cent vote in favour of strike action over what the union called “a toxic culture” of bullying and harassment.
Union members are currently considering a new offer by management. And, for the sake of Edinburgh’s commuters, let’s hope that it goes far enough to appease the workforce and herald a new era of industrial relations in what is, after all, a flagship transport company.