Saturday, 31 May 2014
Union organised trams roll out in Edinburgh
The success was recognised by the STUC in April when it awarded Unite reps at Lothian Buses the first STUC organising award. The reps were praised for helping tram colleagues set up union structures long before the first passenger was carried.
Lothian Buses is the last remaining publicly owned bus company in Scotland. It is widely recognised as being head and shoulders above privatised services in terms of its fleet, reliability and service. The union has worked tirelessly to promote public transport in public ownership and, with the employers, recognise the role of trade unions in the success of Lothian Buses.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, told the STUC Congress: “Unite at Lothian Buses have ensured that Edinburgh Trams remained publicly owned through traditional trade union lobbying and lobbying Edinburgh City Council and, at the same time, ensured employees in the new company, have the same trade union rights as their colleagues in Edinburgh Buses.
“The STUC are in no doubt whatsoever that this would not have been the case had Edinburgh Trams been privatised."
The City of Edinburgh Council owns 91% of Lothian buses with neighbouring Midlothian and East Lothian councils owning the rest.
Lothian Buses carried a record 115 million passengers in 2013 and council tax payers will benefit from a dividend of nearly £3.3m. Now surely that is much more efficient than privatisation.