Monday 20 November 2017

Dublin Bus passengers face strike threat after union voted in favour of industrial action

Members of the National Bus and Rail Union rejected 8pc pay rise

Members of the National Bus and Rail Union backed industrial action by a majority of 96pc
Members of the National Bus and Rail Union backed industrial action by a majority of 96pc

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Dublin Bus passengers face the threat of strikes after members of a union voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action after rejecting an 8pc pay rise.

Members of the National Bus and Rail Union backed industrial action by a majority of 96pc.

The vote result has been revealed after the drivers rejected a Labour Court recommendation that they get an 8.25pc increase over five years, or 2.75pc a year, up to January 2018.

They want an increase equal to  recently won by tram drivers, worth 3.8pc a year.

The union is seeking a total pay hike of 31pc to take account of the Luas pay rise, an increase to bring their wages on a par with the tram drivers, and a 6pc pay rise under a social partnership deal that was not paid.

 It wanted the Labour Court to award at least the pay increase won by Luas workers of 18pc up to 2020, or 3.8pc a year as a first step.

 The National Executive Council of the NBRU will meet next Tuesday to discuss the range of industrial action options that might be pursued.

 General Secretary of the union, Dermot O’Leary, said the result brings the “level of anger” among Dublin Bus workers into sharp focus. “It is important that the company and its paymasters would reflect on this result and realise that the level of pay required to resolve this dispute is very much in their gift,” he said.

Read more: Dublin Bus drivers to consider no fares day as part of industrial action, union warns

“To ignore such a resounding message from workers who have had to endure two cost cutting plans, inclusive of pay cuts coupled to eight years without a pay rise would do a disservice to both workers and passengers alike.”

He said his union would meet with colleagues in the five unions involved in the dispute to devise a “coordinated approach” to industrial action.

 The union leader said this sequence of events can be prevented if Dublin Bus is willing to come back to the table and discuss the possibility of making an improved pay offer.

 SIPTU is due to issue its ballot result on industrial action next week.

 The recommendation by the Labour Court’s Deputy Chairman Brendan Hayes said Dublin Bus is recovering from a deep recession and passenger numbers and fares have risen.

 But it said the recovery is in its infancy and must be allowed to develop before the company could support significant wage increases.

Dublin Bus said it will await the results of ballots by the remaining unions next week before considering the outcome.

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