The planned all-out strike at Bus Éireann which was scheduled to commence on Monday has been suspended.
However unions warned on Wednesday night that the work stoppage would be reintroduced if management moved to impose highly controversial cuts to staff earnings without agreement.
Unions and management at Bus Éireann agreed, after talks at the Workplace Relations Commission on Wednesday, to attend three days of intensive talks starting on Friday in an attempt to find a resolution to the financial crisis facing the State-owned transport company.
In the meantime the company is to withhold plans to introduce the controversial cuts to premium payments, overtime and shift rates which were scheduled to come into effect on Monday.
In parallel, unions representing the 2,600 staff at Bus Eireann, suspended their planned all-out indefinite strike which was due to commence on the same day.
Trade unions had earlier warned on Wednesday that if the Bus Éireann strike went ahead, it could quickly spread to the country’s rail network, particularly in locations where there were joint depots.
Speaking on Wednesday night the general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union Dermot O’Leary said the union still believed that to get an overall resolution to the problems at Bus Éireann, all stakeholders including the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority had to be involved.
Siptu divisional organiser Greg Ennis also said all the parties should be involved in the new talks process.
However he insisted the threat of strike had not gone. “We will enter talks on Friday, Monday and Tuesday with a view to try and resolve this dispute and hopefully we will resolve this dispute. “
“If the employer continues thereafter to implement changes without agreement, then the strike will be back on.”
Minister for Transport Shane Ross has consistently argued that he will not become involved in the dispute and that it is up to the unions and management to find a resolution.