Wednesday 13 November 2019

Taoiseach: Call off bus strike now

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Emma Jane Hade & Sam Griffin

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says the planned strike by staff at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann should be called off.

Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Kenny said the recently collapsed Labour Relations Commission (LRC) negotiations had been aimed at allowing workers to remain with the companies despite plans to privatise 10pc of routes.

Commuter chaos is expected as workers at the National Bus and Rail Union carry out industrial action on May 1.

Siptu workers have also balloted for industrial action.

“The strike should be called off, in my view” Mr Kenny said yesterday.

“One of the objectives of the LRC negations, which were quite intensive, was to enable the vast majority of employees to remain within Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.

“And in addition those employees who might transfer would have their terms and conditions and their pension benefits maintained,” he added.

Elsewhere supporters of Dunnes Stores staff have delivered a 10,000 strong petition to senior management at the company’s headquarters.

More than a dozen campaigners met at the Dublin city centre office yesterday and delivered the petition to the CEO of the retail giant, Margaret Heffernan.

Read more: Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann vote in 'overwhelming' majority to strike on May 1

Employees of the company, who are members of Mandate trade union, participated in a one day strike action earlier this month as part of a long running dispute with the company over working hours and contracts.

Supporter Richard Duggan entered the building shortly after 1pm yesterday afternoon with the 10,000 signatures where he was greeted by a man who identified himself as Ms Heffernan’s assistant.

The petition is calling upon management to “guarantee that workers will not be intimidated for just standing up for their rights and for trying to argue for their rights”.

Mandate said their members have been “victimised” by the company since they participated in Holy Thursday’s strike action and have vowed they will “escalate” their industrial action.

The signatures were collected by the campaign group Uplift and Siobhan O’Connor, director of the organisation, said they are “disgusted with Dunnes Stores and the way they are treating their workers”.

Senior management at Dunnes Stores issued a letter to staff in February, advising them that they “will not enter into direct negotiations with a trade union”.

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