Public transport users are facing potential widespread disruption next month as staff at Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann are to ballot for strike action.
Dublin Bus workers on Friday emphatically rejected proposals for an 8.2 percent pay rise over three years which was put forward by the Labour Court earlier this month.
Bus workers had been looking for increases of up to 31 per cent. Bus staff are seeking pay parity with those working in the privately-operated Luas tram system. Tram drivers reccently secured increases of about 18 per cent over 4 years.
Train workers are also voting on proposals for industrial action following the collapse of talks with mangement at Iarnród Éireann earlier this week.
This could involve stoppages of one or two-day duration as well as a work-to-rule.
Members of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) and Siptu at Dublin Bus rejected the Labour Court pay proposals by about 95 per cent.
The pay proposals were also opposed by clerical and supervisory staff in the TSSA union.
Dublin Bus said it would consider the ballot outcomes when it had received all the details and in the meatime, it would not be making any comment.
Siptu organiser John Murphy said the union's members were "willing to conduct a campaign of industrial action in order to force a just resolution to this dispute".
However, he said industrial action couldbe avoided if management at Dublin Bus “entered into talks aimed at achieving an acceptable resolution”.
NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary said bus workers would “no longer tolerate being left behind in relation to long overdue pay improvements”. He said the union will now move to immediately ballot members for industrial action.
“Our members, by emphatically rejecting this recommendation, have strongly demonstrated their anger at the level of the award compared to that which was awarded to other workers in the same transport sector.
“While our claim for pay parity with tram drivers remains front and centre as part of our goal towards significantly improving the terms and conditions of bus workers, we had hoped that the Labour Court would have assisted towards realising this objective by at least recommending the same quantum which was awarded to resolve the recent Transdev (Luas) dispute. ”
Minister for Transport Shane Ross said he was disappointed at the outcome of the ballots on the Labour Court proposals and urged both sides to "re-engage as soon as possible with a view to an early settlement".