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Friday 18 August 2017

Bus drivers to stay on picket despite new talks

A total of 1,900 workers mounted an all-out strike last Friday week after Bus Éireann announced it would impose cuts to work practices without agreement (Stock photo)
A total of 1,900 workers mounted an all-out strike last Friday week after Bus Éireann announced it would impose cuts to work practices without agreement (Stock photo)

Anne-Marie Walsh

Bus Éireann drivers have lost €1,257 each in wages during an all-out strike but have vowed to remain on the picket lines despite new talks.

Siptu, the National Bus and Railworkers' Union (NBRU) and the company will attend discussions this morning to resolve the row that has brought public transport to a standstill.

A Workplace Relations Commission intervention came after the dispute escalated last Friday when staff took unofficial action that halted Irish Rail and Dublin Bus services.

A total of 1,900 workers mounted an all-out strike last Friday week after Bus Éireann announced it would impose cuts to work practices without agreement.

Based on an average annual salary of €46,879, which includes overtime and premium payments, drivers on strike for nine days would have forsaken €1,617 in pay.

However, they will have received €360 in strike pay.

Bus Éireann's acting chief executive, Ray Hernan, has warned the company faces insolvency in May and must implement a €30m cost-cutting plan as soon as possible.

Siptu sector organiser Willie Noone said the picketing of Bus Éireann depots will continue as some members had been dismissed from their jobs in recent days.

The NBRU said it will call for a complete review of the management structure, including the salaries of those "leading the demand for our members to become more productive".

General secretary Dermot O'Leary said an overarching solution can only be achieved if all stakeholders, including the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority, are part of the process.

Transport Minister Shane Ross welcomed the move. He said: "I hope that all involved can use this opportunity to agree upon an acceptable and fair deal.

"The travelling public will expect that the parties can come to an agreement that allows for an end to this recent period of disruption to transport services."

Irish Independent

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