Government calls for new talks to avert strike at Bus Eireann from Sunday

Gilmore says viability of company “at risk”

Bus Éireann said it remained available for meetings with trade unions in advance of Sunday “but only if they make concrete and viable proposals that can deliver at least the level of savings contained in the Labour Court recommendation”.

Bus Éireann said it remained available for meetings with trade unions in advance of Sunday “but only if they make concrete and viable proposals that can deliver at least the level of savings contained in the Labour Court recommendation”.

Fri, May 10, 2013, 01:00


The Government has called on management and trade unions at the State-owned Bus Éireann to engage in further talks aimed at averting strike action at the company from the weekend over the implementation of a controversial cost-containment plan.

However, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the continued existence of Bus Éireann was at stake.

“The viability of Bus Éireann is at risk. It is losing money. It has lost €27 million in the past five years and that cannot continue,” he added.

“If Bus Éireann does not continue to exist, the people who work in it will not have jobs. We want to protect the company, the services it provides and the employment it provides to those who work in it. In order to achieve that, the company must be secured.”

The largest union at Bus Éireann, the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), warned of an all-out strike at the company from Sunday when management plans to implement unilaterally a Labour Court recommendation aimed at generating savings of €5 million.

This would involve cuts in overtime rates, premium rates and shift payments, as well as reductions in annual leave for some staff and a longer working week for others.

Core pay and employment levels would be unaffected.


Recommendations rejected
NBRU general secretary Michael Faherty said members at Bus Éireann had voted by 82 per cent to 18 per cent to reject the Labour Court recommendation. He said members were aware this decision could lead to all-out industrial action.

Bus Éireann said it remained available for meetings with trade unions in advance of Sunday “but only if they make concrete and viable proposals that can deliver at least the level of savings contained in the Labour Court recommendation”.

Union and management sources said that, as of last night, there were no plans for any third party intervention.