Thursday 22 March 2018

Bus strike mayhem

Now drivers to strike for 19 days as Minister Ross refuses to intervene

A bus stop sign notifies commuters of industrial action. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A bus stop sign notifies commuters of industrial action. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Commuter chaos is set to continue in the capital, with 13 more days of Dublin Bus strikes - as Transport Minister Shane Ross refuses to intervene.

The fourth day of the bus strike takes place today.

Unions representing workers at the semi-state have upped their industrial action with more strikes announced, on top of the six already under way.

Management has been told every week of October will see strike action, while staff will also down tools on Saturday 29, the bank holiday weekend.

Dublin Bus estimates the strikes are costing the company around €1m a day, as business group Dublin Town claimed the numbers of commuters deciding not to travel is leading to €2.5m in lost spending in the city centre.

However, Mr Ross has once again washed his hands of the issue, because it could be seen as a commitment to solve the issue from Exchequer funds. "Minister Ross greatly regrets the inconvenience caused to the travelling public by this ongoing dispute," a statement said.

"He is acutely aware of calls for him to directly intervene but must reiterate that any ministerial intervention could be interpreted as a commitment to open the State chequebook."

Dublin Bus confirmed it has received notification from the unions of further strike action.

"This industrial action is unnecessary and unjustified and will continue to cause significant disruption to our customers and trade in Dublin city.

"To date, this industrial action has cost the company in excess of €4m and continues to impact the financial stability of the company," it said.

National Bus and Rail Union general secretary Dermot O'Leary said that Dublin Bus staff were "long overdue" a pay rise and that placing preconditions on representatives would hamper talks.

Irish Independent

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