Friday 24 November 2017

96pc of Dublin Bus staff vote for industrial action

Dermot O’Leary: warned of bus workers’ level of anger. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins
Dermot O’Leary: warned of bus workers’ level of anger. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins

Anne-Marie Walsh

Dublin Bus passengers face travel disruption after NBRU members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action after rejecting an 8pc pay rise.

The 96pc vote in favour of industrial action comes after workers turned down a Labour Court recommendation that they get an 8.25pc pay increase over five years, or 2.75pc a year, up to January 2018.

Staff want an increase equal to a pay rise recently won by tram drivers, worth 3.8pc a year.

The union is seeking a total pay hike of 31pc to take account of the Luas pay rise, an increase to bring their wages on a par with the tram drivers, and a 6pc pay rise under a social partnership deal that was not paid.

It wanted the Labour Court to award at least the pay increase won by Luas workers of 18pc up to 2020, or 3.8pc a year, as a first step.

The National Executive Council of the NBRU will meet next Tuesday to discuss industrial action options.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said the result brings the "level of anger" among Dublin Bus workers into sharp focus.

"It is important that the company and its paymasters would reflect on this result and realise that the level of pay required to resolve this dispute is very much in their gift," he said.

"To ignore such a resounding message from workers who have had to endure two cost-cutting plans, inclusive of pay cuts coupled to eight years without a pay rise would do a disservice to both workers and passengers alike."

Mr O'Leary said his union would meet with colleagues in the five other unions involved in the dispute to devise a "coordinated approach" to industrial action.

The union leader said this sequence of events can be prevented if Dublin Bus is willing to come back to the table and discuss the possibility of making an improved pay offer.

SIPTU is due to issue its ballot result on industrial action next week.

The recommendation by the Labour Court said Dublin Bus is recovering from a deep recession and passenger numbers and fares have risen.

But it said the recovery must be allowed to develop before wage increases are introduced.

Irish Independent

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