Saturday 23 September 2017

Talks to end Bus Éireann strike expected in next 48 hours

NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary. Photo: Tony Gavin
NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary. Photo: Tony Gavin
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Unions expect talks to get under way within the next 48 hours that aim to bring strikes at Bus Éireann to an end.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is coming under pressure to intervene in the bitter dispute which has left thousands of commuters without a service for more than 11 days. Both management and unions have confirmed they are willing to meet for discussions to resolve the impasse, which has left 110,000 passengers without a service.

Pressure is mounting to begin exploratory talks aimed at ending the strike, which is costing the loss-making public transport company some €500,000 a day.

Union sources expect movement over the next 24 to 48 hours, but officially say they have not been in contact with the WRC over any proposals.

In turn, the WRC said it was in contact with both parties, and was "available to assist if the parties request that they do so". It is not clear if strike action will be lifted even if negotiations get under way.

The wildcat strike last Friday, where unofficial picketing at Irish Rail and Dublin Bus depots resulted in services being suspended during the morning peak, has also resulted in both companies contacting the National Bus and Railworkers' Union (NBRU) to say they intend to pursue the union for costs.

NBRU general secretary Dermot O'Leary said the union was not aware of the unofficial action, and told RTÉ's 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' programme that he had asked CIÉ to get involved to seek a resolution.

Bus Éireann said it regretted the ongoing strike action, adding it was "critical" that efficiencies and changes to work practices were implemented to prevent it going out of business.

Irish Independent

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