Thursday 29 September 2016

Dublin Bus drivers plan 13 further days of strike action over the next six weeks

Ryan Nugent

Published 15/09/2016 | 13:22

Further disruptive Dublin Bus strikes are set to go ahead this week
Further disruptive Dublin Bus strikes are set to go ahead this week

DUBLIN Bus drivers are set for at least another 13 days of strikes over the next six weeks, after talks between drivers and their union this morning.

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An announcement was made by representative union, NBRU, at approximately 4pm today which gave further details of the escalation.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "It is unfortunate that Dublin Bus and those responsible for providing a Public Transport Service for the Citizens of Dublin will not engage with Bus Workers in relation to the claim for a long overdue pay rise.

"What is particularly galling here is the undisputed fact that this dispute will ultimately be settled around the negotiating table, allowing service disruptions to become the de-facto norm in the nation’s Capital is a sad indictment on those who are both elected and appointed to provide this vital service"

Some 400,000 passengers are already faced with travel disruption today – with the drivers in their third day of strike action.

The strike will continue on Friday – with buses not set to be in operation again until Saturday morning.

The next set of planned strikes are due to take place on Friday and Saturday September 23 and 24.

Dublin Bus workers will also strike on:

Tuesday and Wednesday, September 27 -28

Saturday, October 1

Wednesday,  October 5

Friday,  October 7

Monday, October 10

Wednesday, October 12

Friday, October 14

Tuesday and Wednesday October 18 -19

Monday, October 24

Wednesday, October 26

Saturday October 29

Each of the strike days are 24 hours, starting from 12.01am.

Unite Regional Officer, Willie Quigley, blamed the government for the escalation of the dispute.

He said: “The Government’s continued disengagement from this dispute is particularly ironic given the current problems are largely due to the continued shrinkage of the subvention to Dublin Bus."

SIPTU also criticised the government's stance.

SIPTU Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction Division Organiser, Owen Reidy, said: “Despite the fact that we are currently in the third day of strike action resulting from this dispute, it would seem that the management of Dublin Bus and the Department of Transport have little interest in resolving the outstanding issues.

“Our members are disappointed that the only response so far from the CEO of Dublin Bus to this dispute has been to call for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission to discuss a Labour Court recommendation that has already been rejected by over 90% of our members. It is not a genuine attempt to find an agreed resolution to this dispute.

“The trade unions at Dublin Bus have a responsibility to resolve this dispute. However, this cannot be done without input from management supported by the Department of Transport."

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross said that any intervention could set a dangerous precident.

He said: "I am acutely aware of calls for [me] to directly intervene but [I] must reiterate, that as any Ministerial intervention could be interpreted as a commitment to open the State chequebook, it would be inappropriate for [us] to do so.

"[We] again calls on Management and the Unions to engage with each other immediately."

Dublin Bus have replied by describing the action as 'unnecessary' and 'unjustified.'

In a statement, they said: "This industrial action is unnecessary and unjustified and will continue to cause significant disruption to our customers and trade in Dublin city.

"To date, this industrial action has cost the company in excess of €4 million and continues to impact the financial stability of the company. We will now assess the full implications of today’s announcement."

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