Saturday 16 December 2017

Bus strike set to cause travel chaos on All-Ireland replay day

Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

TRAFFIC chaos is feared in Dublin city centre on the day of the All-Ireland final replay - as Dublin Bus drivers are set to strike.

A gripping final ended in a draw in Croke Park this afternoon - however the replay is slated to take place on October 1st, one of the dates confirmed earlier this week as a strike day.

Dublin Bus plays an important role in keeping traffic flowing on match days at Croke Park as fans are encouraged to travel into the city centre using the service.

However the expected strike is set to force thousands of fans to find an alternative route into the city.

There have already been four strike days in September, with two more to come on September 23 and 24 as well as newly-announced stoppages set for September 27 and 28.

Next month, further strike days are planned for October 1, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 18, 19, 24, 26 and 29.

Bus users with Leap Cards for annual and monthly travel will be issued a refund by Dublin Bus for each day lost due to the strikes.

These can be collected at the company's head office on O'Connell Street while others who missed out on Sightseeing Tours and Airlink services can also seek refunds or ask for their trip to be rescheduled.

Siptu said it sympathised with the public and workers, who have been greatly inconvenienced.

Its members at Dublin Bus repeated calls for the company bosses and Transport Minister Shane Ross' civil servants to immediately open talks.

Senior union representative Owen Reidy said: "There is only one way that this dispute will end, and that is through serious talks aimed at agreement on a long-term funding model for Dublin Bus."

Mr Reidy said the talks should also involve workers."The Minister for Transport cannot stand aloof from talks aimed at securing the future of a public transport company whose main funder, outside of the public's contribution through fares, is the state," he said.

"It is time that everyone in this dispute stood up and accepted their responsibilities to the travelling public and focused on creating a long-term sustainable funding model for Dublin Bus which is based on best international practice."

Siptu leaders also insisted the workers' resolve remained strong, despite four days of strikes.

Union organiser John Murphy said: "The resolve of our members to secure a long-term solution to the problems at Dublin Bus is only growing.

"Although individuals in Government and at management level, who may seldom use the public bus system, would seem intent on attempting to drive a wedge between service users and staff, our members merely remain focused on securing a just resolution to this dispute

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