New bid to end Stockholm bus strike

New bid to end Stockholm bus strike
Stockholm bus drivers have been offered an increased pay rise in a bid to end a strike that has led to a complete stop to services in the capital since Monday.

Bussarbetsgivarna, the organization representing bus companies in Stockholm, presented officials at the Kommunal union with the new bid on Wednesday afternoon after days of stalemate.

“We can see how the public are suffering due to this strike. We have therefore held a board meeting and decided to compromise somewhat with Kommunal in order to bring an end to this,” said Bussarbetsgivarna’s CEO, Peter Jeppsson.

Under the new offer, bus drivers would get a 10.4 percent pay rise, as opposed to a 10.2 percent rise under its previous offer. Employers’ representatives also agreed to reduce the maximum shift length, including breaks, to 13 hours.

The new bid does not give any ground on the union’s demand to increase the minimum period of rest between shifts. This remains at 11 hours, the figure proposed by mediators. Employers also agreed to specify in the agreement that drivers would be granted their legal right to a permanent job after two years’ work.

Kommunal spokesman Serkan Köse confirmed that the union had received the offer.

“We now need to sit down and read it carefully. There’s a lot of contractual text to go through,” he said. Asked how the union felt about receiving an offer, he stressed that it wanted to negotiate:

“Of course we want a new agreement,” he said. Köse would not say when Kommunal would respond to the bid.