Monday 24 July 2017

Transport Minister renews appeal to Bus Éireann management and unions to start talks

National bus strike is 12 days away

Shane Ross. Picture: Damien Eagers
Shane Ross. Picture: Damien Eagers
John Downing

John Downing

Transport Minister, Shane Ross, has renewed an appeal to both sides in the Bus Éireann dispute to engage in talks without any pre-conditions being set in advance.

With a national strike due to start next Monday week, February 20, Mr Ross was under pressure in the Dáil to make an intervention and help defuse the row over proposed 30pc pay cuts.

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy said Mr Ross should tell the board of Bus Éireann to have the company management engage in settlement talks with the unions without setting preconditions.

Sinn Féin TD, Imelda Munster, said the proposed pay cuts were unfair and it was "morally wrong" to describe the threatened strike as an industrial dispute.  She said students, sick people travelling to medical appointments and many others would be affected by the strike.

But Mr Ross insisted that he was not talking any side. He was not backing 30pc pay cuts – merely advocating that both sides engage in talks.

"It’s an absurd situation. But I hope and I believe they will engage in talks," the Minister said urging both sides to approach the dispute "with a clean sheet."

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