SIPTU drivers at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to strike for four days in May
Industrial action by drivers at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann is expected to last four days in May, SIPTU has announced this afternoon.
The announcement follows a refusal by the management of both Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann to meet with workers to discuss their major concerns over plans to privatise 10pc of bus routes.
At this morning's SIPTU meeting, it was decided that the work stoppages by drivers will occur over two 48-hour periods: Friday, May 1, Saturday May 2, and Friday, May 15, Saturday, May 16.
Owen Reidy, SIPTU Utilities and Construction Division Organiser, said that it was "outrageous that having taken a moderate approach to prevent industrial action by seeking direct talks with both bus companies, SIPTU has been met with such intransigence".
"We have had a meeting with the Department of Transport, which was useful and workmanlike, but until we meet with both bus companies it is impossible to make an assessment on the prospects of making progress in allying our members' concerns. The Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, needs to get his house in order and resolve what is a dysfunctional position taken by these companies."
Mr Reidy told RTE's News AT One that SIPTU members were "left with no alternative but to proceed with industrial action".
“For more than nine months SIPTU has been seeking to have six key points, with serious consequences resulting from this proposed privatisation addressed," he added.
"It's not something we want to do. What our drivers would like to be doing on the days in question is serving the public. But when you have a situation where the futures and the livelihoods of the drivers are under threat...what are you supposed to do?"
"Noone has been listening to us. The responsibility of the decision that we've made today rests with others."
Minister Donohoe reacted to the announcement with a fresh appeal to unions to call off their planned industrial action, asking them to accept his assurances about work and conditions.
"I believe that [the strikes] should not happen. I believe these strikes will cause too much difficulty to the companies and the people who rely on those services," he said.