Wednesday 16 October 2019

Union warns bus strike will continue unless Labour Court intervenes

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE bus strike which has hit some 70,000 commuters will continue into next week unless the Labour Court invites both sides to talks.

Head of the National Bus and Rail Union, Michael Faherty, said the union has had “no contact” with Bus Eireann management and did not plan to seek a meeting to discuss cost-cutting measures aimed at saving €9m a year.

The strike has affected the vast majority of services, with only a limited number of inter-city routes in operation between Dublin-Belfast and Dublin-Cork.

Some 1,000 union staff, which include 860 drivers, are on strike over plans to cut pay and conditions and will refuse to work until the cost-cutting plan is renegotiated.

Mr Faherty said despite the strike now being in its second day and an appeal from Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to re-enter talks, it had not been contacted by Bus Eireann management.

The company has repeatedly said it decided to implement the cost-cutting plans following a Labour Court recommendation and because the union had refused to offer alternative savings.

“We haven’t had a word from anybody.  Nobody contacted us and we won’t be contacting them,” Mr Faherty said.

“I’ve never known a trade union to look for a meeting, and neither would I expect them (Bus Eireann) to knock on the door.  One third-party or another invites somebody to talks.  Who’s preventing that from happening?

 “Nothing will happen until somebody, the Labour Court or Labour Relations Commission, invite the parties to talks.  If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be in the same position a week from now.”

The following services only are currently operating

Expressway Inter-city

Route 1 Dublin-Belfast No Bus Éireann services operating. Translink services are operating. Translink services are at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00 EX Dublin. Services Ex Dublin will operate from Custom House Quay.

Route 33 Dublin-Derry no Bus Éireann services operating. Translink services are operating. Translink services are at 10:00, 13:00, 17:30 and 22:00. Services from Dublin will operate from Custom House Quay.

GOBE – Dublin Airport-Cork

All services expected to operate with services operating from Dublin city centre will pick up at Georges Quay in Dublin and Patricks Quay in Cork.

Bus Éireann anticipates that School Transport Services will operate as normal today

Parents/guardians are advised to check www.buseireann.ie and national and local media in the event that there is any change to this.

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