Uncertainty over Dublin Bus services

Siptu warns of an immediate strike if company attempts to reimpose cuts

Striking bus drivers outside Dublin Bus’s Ringsend Garage earlier this month. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Striking bus drivers outside Dublin Bus’s Ringsend Garage earlier this month. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 01:00



Uncertainty surrounds the operation of Dublin Bus services in coming weeks after Siptu warned the company that any attempt to reimpose cost-saving measures would be followed by an immediate strike.

The warning follows the rejection on Friday by the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) and Siptu of Labour Court proposals aimed at settling a dispute which led to a strike over the August bank holiday weekend.

Speaking at the weekend, Siptu organiser Willie Noone said staff could not endure the proposed cuts and warned: “It’s a very serious situation now.” Referring to the company’s attempts to achieve €11.7million in cuts, he said: “Whatever day they bring it in, the strike will follow straight away.”

Siptu and the NBRU represent about 2,500 Dublin Bus drivers while the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association represent 140 clerical staff. Similar numbers are represented by Unite and the electricians’ union, the TEEU.

Dublin Bus has said it will await the outcome of votes on the Labour Court proposals by the smaller unions involved, before it comments on its intentions. It is possible at least some of the outstanding issues may be referred to the Labour Relations Commission. The company said the three-day strike earlier this month cost about €600,000, making the savings needed harder to achieve.

One of the sticking points relates to drivers’ schedules. Drivers are concerned about reduced services during quiet periods hitting their weekly pay.