Friday 23 March 2018

Bus drivers told: No more talks, no more money

Martin Frawley and Fionnan Sheahan

THE Government is adopting a harder line with Dublin Bus workers, warning them there will be no more talks and no more money to give.

The prospect of further industrial action at Dublin Bus increased yesterday after the company said it will implement its €11.7m cost-cutting plan on November 17 despite Siptu drivers narrowly rejecting the plan last Friday.

Siptu, which represents around half the 2,300 drivers in the company, also said yesterday that it would re-ballot its members on industrial action as tensions heightened at the loss-making company.

Siptu already has a mandate for strike action from the three-day strike in August, which was merely suspended to allow for talks over the summer. However, the union said that, given the narrowness of the vote, it wanted to give its members the opportunity to decide whether they want to take the next step in their dispute with the company.

Yesterday, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said the Government would stand by Dublin Bus in the event of industrial action by SIPTU bus drivers.

In a joint statement with Minister of State Alan Kelly, Mr Varadkar said they noted the decision by the board of Dublin Bus to proceed with implementing its cost-recovery plan.

Mr Varadkar's statement said he had briefed the Cabinet on the need to deliver savings under the plan in order to safeguard the future of the company, along with the jobs and services it provides.

All other grades among the 3,500 workers in Dublin Bus have accepted the plan.

Irish Independent

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