Monday 23 April 2018

Fresh talks planned to avert next weekend's planned bus strike - LRC

Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus

Niall O’Connor

LABOUR Relations chiefs will tomorrow launch a second formal bid aimed at averting next weekend’s planned strike action by Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann workers.

The Labour Relations Commission (LRC) is to hold further negotiations between unions and management as fears grow over the prospect of further travel disruption. 

Union sources have insisted the strike action will go ahead as planned unless “substantial guarantees” are given in the area of employment, as well as well a commitment to address fears of further privatisation of bus routes in the future.

The row, which resulted in two days of strike action over the May Bank holiday weekend, centres around the decision to put 10pc of routes out for tender.

The proposals by the National Transport Authority (NTA) would see several Dublin Bus routes put on for tender, as well as commuter services from Dublin to Tullamore, Portlaoise and Kildare. The plans also propose the tendering of routes in Waterford City.

The Government has said the measures will result in improved services and ultimately save the taxpayer money.

However, the unions insist the move will open the door for a campaign of privatisation, put jobs at risk and result in a deterioration of workers’ conditions.

 The LRC yesterday invited the parties to take part in further discussions at 3pm today.

A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the Government will not be party to the talks but will be available if required.

General Secretary of the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary today said there is a myriad of issues that the union wants addressed.

He said central to his concern is the prospect of Dublin and Bus Eireann losing further routes in 2019, when current contracts expire.

“The NBRU are on record as highlighting our concern in relation to the public bus companies exposure to potentially losing aUof their routes in 2019, the clear contradiction between this poSition and the Ministers recent comments on the future strength of both Companies going forward can only be reconciled by verifiable definitive assurances as part of any potential solution to this dispute”.

Bus drivers on strike outside Busáras Station in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Bus drivers on strike outside Busáras Station in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Heavy traffic on the N3.

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