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Bus strike over

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Bus strike over
23:26 CEST+02:00
Bus drivers from the Kommunal union and the Bussarbetsgivarna employers group announced late Tuesday night that they had both signed off on a new agreement, ending the bus strike.

“We at Kommunal have achieved improvements for bus company employees in all of our priority areas,” said Kommunal vice chair Håkan Pettersson at a Tuesday night press conference.

The new three-year contract, which covers 14,000 of Kommunal's members, starts from June 1st, 2008 and includes a pay raise of 10.4 percent over three years.

The agreement also contains provisions for eleven hours of rest every 24 hours and 13 hour working day for routes shorter than 50 kilometres, with a few exceptions.

The Bussarbetsgivarna employers group is also pleased with the agreement.

"What's important for us is that the wage increase didn't get bigger, every tenth costs," said Peter Jeppsen, CEO of Bussarbetsgivarna, to the TT news agency.

He is also satisfied with the delimitation between working and rest hours, which was the most important issue for his members.

Bus operator Busslink projects that its buses will be back on the streets shortly after midnight.

“We're moving ahead as we speak. Within 24 hours we will be back driving on schedule. We're guessing there will be interruptions on the first day. It's primarily morning traffic which we're working to get sorted out,” said Busslink head of sales Johan Bågang at 10.15pm on Tuesday night.

Busslink operates buses in central Stockholm and the southern suburbs.

Bus routes in Västerbotten in northern Sweden are expected to be running normally on Wednesday morning, said Tor Eriksson with the Länstrafiken bus operator in Västerbotten.

Swebus also believes its buses will be ready by Wednesday morning, even in the two busiest areas: Umeå, and on the E12 highway connecting Umeå with Norway.

One exception in Västerbotten may be routes on the E4 highway which are operated by Veolia.

“It might be a bit bumpy since personnel there are stationed all the way down in Sundsvall. But I think that they will also be driving on Wednesday,” said Tor Eriksson.

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