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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Negotiations over bus strike resume

Mediators are holding talks between Bus Eireann management and the National Bus and Rail Union
Mediators are holding talks between Bus Eireann management and the National Bus and Rail Union

Bus Eireann has said the vast majority of its services are operating normally as crunch talks with unions entered a second day.

The bus firm said the suspension of strikes that brought its fleet to a halt for two days remains in place until Thursday morning and advised customers to keep checking for updates.

Mediators are holding talks between management and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) in a bid to secure a deal to prevent a return to picket lines which stopped services nationwide on Sunday and Monday.

Results of ballots for industrial action by workers with Siptu and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, which are also in the discussions, will be known on Thursday.

Meanwhile trade unions piled extra pressure on transport chiefs by warning drivers at Dublin Bus and Irish Rail will vote on strikes in solidarity with Bus Eireann workers.

Siptu said its members at the other two companies in the CIE group will be balloted as a sign of solidarity with counterparts in the state-controlled bus firm.

Bus Eireann employees and management have been locked in dispute for months over the company's plan to slash five million euro (£4.2 million) off the pay bill in a bid to stem massive losses.

The company has warned it needs to make five million euro payroll savings or it will go out of business and claims the strike has cost it an estimated 400,000 euro to date.

Bus Eireann is seeking a 20% cut to a range of allowance and expense payments, a reduction of overtime rates, longer working hours and a cut in shift payments. It maintains the measures, recommended by the Labour Court, are vital for the survival of the company and security of 2,500 jobs.

The Government has also warned the bus firm lost 27 million euro over the last five years and would not be financially viable if it did not impose cuts.

Press Association

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