Tuesday 20 November 2018

Dublin Bus drivers vote in solidarity with Bus Eireann staff, as strike temporarily called off

Kathy Armstrong and Chai Brady

Dublin Bus workers have voted to go on strike in solidarity with picketing Bus Eireann staff.

This comes as the Bus Éireann strike has been called off temporarily as the Labour Court issued its recommendations.

Bus Éireann union members will now vote on the Labour Court proposals, and will decide whether further strike action will be taken.

Buses are expected to be back in service by tomorrow, but if the recommendations are rejected both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann staff could be taking to the pickets.

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Stock image

The Dublin Bus ballot was counted at Liberty Hall today and 67pc of staff voted in favour of the action.

SIPTU organiser John Murphy said in a statement: "The ballot count has been completed and the majority of SIPTU members in Dublin Bus have voted to take industrial action in support of, and in sympathy with, their colleagues in Bus Eireann.

"Most SIPTU members in Dublin Bus are bus drivers and this grade voted by 67pc to 33pc in favour of taking industrial action.

"SIPTU representatives will now liaise with our colleagues involved in that dispute to discuss when to serve the necessary notice of industrial action on the management of Dublin Bus."

Read More: Bus Eireann facing losses of €10m as services look set to resume over Easter

After 21 days of strike action Bus Éireann stand to have lost over €10m. Over 1900 workers will now return to their posts after the prolonged strike, which occurred after the company told workers it would impose cuts to reduce its payroll bill by €12m.

Dublin Bus workers will now liaise with Bus Éireann staff involved in the dispute to decide when to serve notice of industrial action to Dublin Bus management.

Read More: Buses back for Easter as strike is called off

The National Bus & Rail Union welcomed the Labour Court recommendations and are keen to engage with Bus Eireann staff.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "The Labour Court have today issued its recommendation across a range of grades, it is quite obvious, just from a cursory glance, that our contention that major cultural change is imminent has been borne out by this recommendation.

"We will now move immediately into a consultative phase with our members across Bus Éireann  in order that they will be fully informed in advance of casting their ballot on the fundamental issues contained in the recommendation."

He continued to say: "Our members will now return to work after 21 days on strike, they have shown tremendous dignity throughout what has been an extremely difficult dispute, for that they are to be commended.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to thank members of the travelling public for their massive support and understanding through what has been a difficult time for them in having to make alternative travel arrangements for their daily commute."

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