Bus Éireann staff vote for action
Two trade unions representing staff at Bus Éireann have voted to take industrial action if management proceed with plans to introduce cuts to pay and employment conditions as part of a new recovery plan.
The general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Michael Faherty said 92 per cent of members at the company voted in favour of industrial action.
A second union, the white collar union Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) has also voted strongly to back industrial action in what it described as a bid “to save jobs and working conditions at Bus Eireann”.
The TSSA said 73 per cent of members of members at Bus Eireann had voted in favour of industrial action.
Mr Faherty said his members at Bus Éireann would not be working under the revised conditions which management at the company is seeking to implement from next Sunday.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "We will do whatever it takes to defend our members at Bus Éireann. For far too long, the management there have traded on their good will."
Among the measures which the company is planning to implemented are a reduction of overtime rates from 1.5 times to 1.25 times; an increase in working week for clerical and executive staff from 36 hours to 39 hours; cuts in shift, premium and rota payments; the curtailing of annual leave entitlement by three days for three years (2013, 2014, 2015); and a scaling-back of a range of allowance and expense payments by 33.3 per cent.
A spokesman for Bus Éireann warned that in the event of industrial action which led to a further deterioration in the company’s financial position the issue of core pay and employment levels, which are protected under the current recovery plan, would have to be looked at.
The spokesman said that Bus Éireann was still planning to implement its recovery plan from next weekend.
He said the company had so far received no communication from the NBRU on possible industrial action. He said by law the union was obliged to provide such notification in a timely fashion.
The spokesman also said that customers should be informed as soon as possible of any possible disruption to services.
Bus Éireann said it had repeatedly stated since last June that failure to agree to its recovery plan would leave the company facing potential annual losses of €16 million.
Siptu, which also represents workers at Bus Éireann, is scheduled to announce the results of a ballot it has conducted on industrial action later this week.
Siptu has warned that moves by Bus Éireann to introduce unilateral cuts to pay and terms of employment for staff could result in industrial action taking place in all the transport companies across the wider CIÉ group such as Dublin Bus and Irish Rail.