Bus Eireann pickets may be lifted by Thursday afternoon

Labour Court to issue recommendation to resulve ongoing strike tomorrow

Acting Bus Éireann chief executive Ray Hernan said unions would not lift pickets until this was received and services would not resume before Friday morning at the earliest. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Acting Bus Éireann chief executive Ray Hernan said unions would not lift pickets until this was received and services would not resume before Friday morning at the earliest. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

The Labour Court has said that it will issue a recommendation aimed at resolving the ongoing Bus Éireann strike by Thursday afternoon.

Acting Bus Éireann chief executive Ray Hernan said unions would not lift pickets until this was received and services would not resume before Friday morning at the earliest.

Dermot O’Leary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) said pickets would remain in place until the recommendation is recived.

He said Bus Eireann had a “brass neck” by attempting to paint members in a bad light “by implying that they would not cooperate with a return to work before the issuing of the Labour Court Recommendation, this despite the fact that Bus Éireann management were present at the Court when the request to lift Pickets was accepted by all five Unions.”

Labour Court talks between unions and management at Bus Éireann aimed at resolving an all-out strike which has left staff without pay and disrupted 110,000 passengers daily resumed on Wednesday morning.

Earlier People Before Profit TD Brid Smith claimed that Dublin Bus workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in solidarity with their counterparts in Bus Éireann.

However Siptu official John Murphy said the full result of the ballot for industrial action in Dublin Bus will not be known until Thursday morning as union representatives are currently counting the ballots for all grades.

“Following the completion of the ballot an official and correct result will then be released by the union,” he said.

Ms Smith said early tallies suggest that 78 per cent have voted for strike action. She tweeted: “Delighted to hear that Dublin Bus drivers voted by 78 % to support Bus Eireann. might wake up the minister and govt..Up the workers !”

She told The Irish Times that the full report will not be known until Thursday morning, but that the trend was towards strike action.

“I am a former bus driver and trade union official. The final result may change but not by that much,” she said.

A decision to strike in with the Bus Éireann workers who are currently in their 20th day of industrial action ought to concentrate the mind of the Government, she added.

“I welcome this vote and hope this solidarity shows the Government that they will not pick off one group at a time. This is badly needed to stop the outrageous attacks on pay and decent jobs.”

Any vote for industrial action is likely to lead to injunctive action by Dublin Bus.

Both Iarnród Éireann and Dublin Bus wrote to the NBRU after the wildcat industrial action on Friday last week in support of Bus Éireann which brought most public transport in the country to a halt.

The companies warned that any further attempt to secondary picket would be illegal and lead to a court injunction.

Workers can only strike if they have a grievance against their employer not somebody else’s under the terms of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act.