WESTPORT - Drivers for Dattco School Bus Company in Westport say they are ready to strike if company officials fall short of their demands.

Union Local President Brian Petronella says employee wages are a major sticking point that has not been met by company officials.

?Currently they?re receiving $14 and change,? says Petronella. ?There are other towns where their hiring off the street, in Wilton for example, $20 an hour.?

Petronella says the union voted 35-11 in favor of the strike and 27-23 in favor of rejecting the company?s latest offer. Dattco Inc. Chief Operating Officer Cliff Gibson says that the union assured him that drivers will not strike while they are still negotiating.

Thousands of southwestern Connecticut school children depend on the buses to get to and from school. Negotiations will continue on Friday.