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Saturday 18 November 2017

Bus union warns Transport Minister Varadkar of action

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

A UNION has threatened Transport Minister Leo Varadkar with industrial action at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann over plans to privatise 10pc of bus routes.

In a letter to the minister, the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU) claimed it had been sent "from Billy to Jack" when it asked who was responsible for employees on routes that might be privatised.

It accused his department of "apparent ambivalence" to 440 "surplus staff" on routes earmarked for tender, in the letter sent yesterday. "Failure to accept that bus workers should have a say on their industry only serves to bring that reaction closer to reality," it warned.

It reminded the minister, pictured, that he said at a meeting last November the National Roads Authority would hold talks with unions, but claimed this had not happened.

Staff, including drivers, maintenance, supervisory, clerical and executive staff, would be affected by the plan.

It has agreed to open up some routes to competition to comply with EU directives.

The plan will involve the Waterford-Dublin route and routes on the outskirts of Dublin. Waterford's five city bus routes and the service to Tramore will be awarded to private firms from 2016.

Bus Eireann routes serving Kildare, Tullamore, Newbridge, Portlaoise, and Athy will also be privatised.

The union has launched a campaign of meetings around the country in opposition to the plans.

Irish Independent

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