Sunday 25 March 2018

Bus drivers vote for strike in row over privatisation

Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

DRIVERS in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann have voted in favour of strike action after talks on the privatisation of bus routes broke down.

The members of the Siptu union voted by more than 90pc in favour of industrial action in the ballot counted yesterday.

Workers with the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) will deliver their ballot result early next week.

It moves to ballot followed a breakdown of Labour Relations Commission (LRC) talks involving the unions, representatives of the bus companies, the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Department of Transport.

Siptu's Owen Reidy said the vote demonstrated the "significant frustration" in the lack of progress addressing concerns over the NTA plan to privatise 10pc of the public service obligation bus routes.

He said they had tabled a number of issues at the talks but they felt they had "not been adequately dealt with".

Mr Reidy said a failure to guarantee tenure, security and quality of workers employment had led to an impasse in the talks process.

The union will hold a meeting of shop stewards on Monday to decide how to proceed.

It is understood the NBRU had threatened to launch a legal challenge to the legislation.

The bus companies said they had not received any official notification of any industrial action by the drivers' unions.

The companies refused to make any further comment at this stage.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe recently said the department would seek legal advice on the legislation being prepared on the Government's proposal to privatise a fraction of the routes.

He told the Dáil the legislation to privatise a portion of the routes had been "carefully crafted" in line with EU law. However, he said that in light of concerns the department had agreed to seek legal advice on aspects.

Irish Independent

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