Tuesday 20 March 2018

Unions talk all-out bus strike as Ross 'sits on his hands'

Transport Minister Shane Ross Photo: Tom Burke
Transport Minister Shane Ross Photo: Tom Burke

Anne-Marie Walsh

Dublin Bus unions will debate the possibility of an all-out strike at a meeting tomorrow after workers down tools for a second disruptive strike.

Unions will discuss further 24- or 48-hour stoppages, a mixture of both, as well as the nuclear option of an indefinite strike as 400,000 passengers are left without services.

They say further strikes, due to take place tomorrow and Friday, now seem "inevitable". Buses will again be taken off the roads from 9pm tonight, Dublin Bus confirmed.

The general secretary of the NBRU, Dermot O'Leary, accused Transport Minister Shane Ross of "sitting on his hands". He said there had been no contact from his office since industrial action in pursuit of a 15pc pay rise over three years began.

"Such a state of affairs is simply not good enough," he said.

"This dispute will only be resolved around the negotiating table. Of all the options that may be available, sitting on one's hands is surely not one of them."

Siptu organiser John Murphy condemned the department's "silence" and said the minister's "intransigence" had strengthened workers' resolve to escalate the dispute.

There was no response from Minister Ross's office yesterday.

The Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court are sceptical about intervening as they believe it would offer little prospect of success.

Passengers with annual and monthly tickets on Leap cards can claim a refund for each day lost, but only once the dispute is resolved.

Irish Independent

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