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Gilmore: Bus Eireann workers risk losing their jobs as strike set

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore is warning Bus Eireann risks going out of business, with the workers in danger of losing their jobs.

Bus drivers will go on all-out strike on Sunday after the  largest union at Bus Éireann, the National Bus and Rail Union, says an all-out strike will go ahead from Sunday.

Out of 820 votes, 83% of members voted today to reject the Labour Court’s cost-cutting recommendations.

Mr Gilmore said the "very viability" of the company is at risk after losing €27m in the last five years.

"Bus Eireann is in precarious financial position with the very viability of the company at risk," he said.

The Tanaiste said if the company fails, then the workers will "lose their jobs".

"If Bus Eireann does not continue to exist, then the people in it won't have jobs," he said.

He said he hopes the strike can be averted.

Fianna Fáil transport spokesman Timmy Dooley said a €3,000 pay cut to the core pay of workers "is not sustainable".

"You seem to have just bought the company line," he said to Mr Gilmore.

Mr Gilmore was accused of "blatant industrial blackmail" after claiming Bus Eireann workers could lose their jobs.

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) said the Labour leader should be ashamed of himself for his comments.

General secretary Manuel Cortes claimed it was "outrageous" that a Labour leader would use such tactics to stop workers exercising their democratic rights.

"We, as an organisation affiliated to the Irish Labour Party expect their support in these situations, not their vitriol," Mr Cortes said.

"We are trying to protect our members from suffering wage cuts of £3,000 a year and all we are getting in response are these bully boy tactics.

"It is the austerity programme which is the root of these problems and a Government which is sacrificing the working people to save fat cat bankers.

"They should be on our side, not attacking us."

PA Media