independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Bus strike called off after talks

Bus Eireann driver Sean Thunder takes part in a picket at Broadstone Bus Depot

A crippling bus strike that left tens of thousands of people around the country stranded has been called off for 48 hours.

After industrial relations trouble-shooters called unions and management in the Bus Eireann together an arrangement was reached to get the fleet back on the road.

Up to 95% of services had been cancelled in the row over a 5 million euro savings plan.

Bus Eireann and the National Bus and Rail Union held exploratory talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) without preconditions.

Kevin Foley, director of conciliation services at the LRC, helped broker a deal to get the buses rolling again.

More than 70,000 passengers a day were being affected by the rolling work stoppage, which ran for two days and cost the company 400,000 euro.

A spokesman for Bus Eireann confirmed workers would lift the pickets and return to work to allow for "two days of intensive talks".

"We hope to operate as many services as possible," the Bus Eireann spokesman said.

School bus runs for 114,000 children are expected back to normal across the country.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had urged union leaders to go back to negotiations with management of the bus firm and rejected claims he has issued any instructions to company management.

Press Association

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