Dublin Bus urges employees not to go on strike

Drivers expected to begin industrial action on Sunday in dispute over cost saving measures

Dublin Bus is bracing itself for industrial action this weekend as drivers strike over cost saving measures at the company. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Dublin Bus is bracing itself for industrial action this weekend as drivers strike over cost saving measures at the company. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 20:56

Efforts to avert an all-out Dublin Bus strike on the busiest bank holiday of the year could to lead to talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

Siptu and National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) drivers at the State company are set to go on strike on Sunday in a long-running row over €11.7 million in cost saving measures.

The company insists it has no choice but to implement the measures to return to financial stability. Cuts include reduced overtime, reductions in bank holiday payments and in annual leave. The unions overwhelmingly rejected the Labour Court-supported plan and served strike notice.

Minister of State for Public Transport Alan Kelly urged all sides to go back to the negotiating table.

“A strike can be avoided. If both sides come to the negotiating table in a calm manner, I think many of the issues can be addressed,” he said. “The savings are needed and if there is a better way to achieve these savings then the labour court recommendation, then all sides need to be discussing this.”

While there is an expectation that talks will take place at the LRC, prospects of a breakthrough are bleak and at least 200,000 public transport users will be affected if the strike goes ahead.

With the ongoing Oxegen festival and All-Ireland quarter-finals on Sunday, public demand for bus services will be high.

Siptu transport sector organiser Willie Noone has said there is potential for talks to reach agreement in a small number of areas but he was not optimistic.

“The company is going ahead ... and our members have rejected their proposals,” he said.

In a statement, Dublin Bus urged trade unions and employees “not to engage in any industrial action on Sunday which will cause unnecessary inconvenience to customers and further financial losses for the company”.

It said customers should visit www.dublinbus.ie or check its Twitter account, @dublinbusnews , for updates prior to travelling.