All out and indefinite bus strike looming

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Bus strike looming

Hundreds of thousands of commuters are set to be hugely inconvenienced and left without a bus service from next week as workers plan to stage an all-out strike.

Bus Éireann unions announced the indefinite strike which will take place from next Monday 06 March 2017.

The strike will impact on services across the country after management outlined a series of cuts.

As Dublin Bus and Irish Rail share depots with Bus Eireann, the bus strike could also affect the Dublin Bus and Irish Rail services also as members of the CIE group could refuse to pass pickets.

The NBRU say Dublin Bus are considering moving some of their buses from the Bus Eireann Broadstone depot to other depots in the city.

"I wrote to Dublin Bus yesterday and I did advise them ... that I accept that they need to do what they have to do in terms of their own business", said Dermot O'Leary of the NBRU.

"I'm just highlighting the fact ... that there's anger among the CIE workers in general".

From Monday, Bus Éireann will roll out 55 cost-saving measures which it said would bring “immediate” reductions. As a result of these reductions, Bus Éireann chief executive Ray Hernan admitted there would be job losses. Not only will this have an affect on staff, but customers will also be affected when three routes will be axed and other routes seeing a reduction in services.

Services to be axed

    • The X7 Dublin-Clonmel service will be cut from March 12
    • The 21 Athlone-Westport services will no longer operate from April 16
    • The 33 Dublin-Derry route will cease from May 28

Services to be reduced

    • The X12 daily services on Dublin-Limerick
    • The 20/X20 Dublin-Galway will be reduced from March 12

Mr Hernan went on to say, “Any staff impacted by these announcements will be redeployed.” These are only an “initial step” and further measures, involving changes to terms and conditions will be implemented.

Willie Noone of the SIPTU union said members were “amazed” at the attitude displayed in the Bus Éireann letter to staff.

He said: “The measures concerning changes to the conditions of employment of workers are notable in that they target driver grades, in particular.”

“In contrast, it would seem that the company does not see any role to be played by managerial grades in this cost-cutting exercise.”

“Issues such as the subcontracting of services and the redeployment of staff, which are stated without any detail on how they will be implemented, will not be accepted.”

Dermot O’Leary, who is the National Bus and Rail Union general secretary said:

“The fact is that, by informing staff that they are going to introduce ‘far-reaching and financially impactful’ measures from next Monday, without agreement, Bus Éireann has left us with no option but to inform the company that we will reactivate our previously notified strike action to coincide with the implementation of these measures.”

Bus Éireann insolvent by May

Bus Éireann has warned it could be insolvent as early as May this year and it must make around €30m in savings, including €12m of payroll cuts if it is to survive.

Talks collapsed last week between both sides at the Workplace Relations Commission. Last night, Bus Éireann said that “further dialogue aimed at urgently resolving these challenges would be welcome”.

A spokesman for Transport Minister Shane Ross encouraged the Bus Éireann and its employees to engage urgently in a constructive manner. As this will be the only way to resolve this huge transport crisis which is threatening to greatly inconvenience the travelling public, especially those in rural Ireland.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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