No Dublin Bus services from 9pm ahead of 48-hour strike

Union says Dublin Bus staff are frustrated and angry at how pay claim was handled

Dublin Bus services will stop at 9pm today ahead of a two-day strike on Thursday and Friday the company said. Photograph: The Irish Times

Trade unions have warned of a potential "long and damaging period of industrial conflict " at Dublin Bus in the weeks ahead as a dispute over pay intensifies.

All Dublin Bus services are to stop at 9pm tonight to allow the buses to be brought back to depots ahead of strikes tomorrow and Friday.

About 400,000 people face having their travel plans disrupted this week as a result of strike action by staff over pay. Talks aimed at averting the dispute ended unsuccessfully last Friday.

John Murphy of Siptu said on Wednesday morning he expected the strike to go ahead. He said in the six weeks since that decision there had been a one hour meeting with the company and no interaction with the National Transport Authority or the Department of Transport.


Two further 48-hour work stoppages are scheduled to take place as part of the dispute later this month.

The National Transport Authority said last night that Dublin Bus would face financial penalties of €200,000 per day - essentially deductions from its annual State subvention - if the strikes went ahead.

Dublin Bus has already said the six days of planned stoppages could cost it €3.6 million in total.The company said its Ghostbus tour would be cancelled while no Dublin Bus-operated sightseeing tours or Airlink services would operate tomorrow or Friday.

Nitelink services will not operate on Friday night into Saturday morning, the company said.

The AA urged Minister for Transport Shane Ross to permit all traffic to use bus lanes during the strike. AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said bus lanes would be "wastefully under-used while commuters are facing long delays" if the Minister did not open them to other motorists.

Mr Ross has not made any comment publicly on the dispute since the end of last week.

Siptu divisional organiser Owen Reidy said that unless the approach of Dublin Bus management and Department of Transport officials changed radically, the company was set for "a long and damaging period of industrial strife".

He said “the obstructive approach of management is evident” in the announcement that all Dublin Bus services would end at 9pm today.

“This is an unnecessary move which will just further inconvenience the travelling public. Dublin Bus drivers had committed to completing their shifts, even if this meant returning buses to their garages after the official start of strike action at 12.01 am on Thursday.”

National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) general secretary Dermot O’Leary said Dublin Bus seemed determined “to unnecessarily ratchet up the pressure on its own customers to make alternative arrangements at short notice in order, as we see, it to paint it’s own staff in a bad light”.

Dublin Bus said it had urged trade unions not to engage in the planned industrial action, which it said would cause unnecessary inconvenience to customers.

“We will continue to make every endeavour to avoid any disruption to services and find a resolution to the matter.”

Staff are seeking pay increases of 15 per cent over three years. They are also looking for payment of a 6 per cent award which dates back to a national agreement in 2008.

NBRU drivers want pay parity with drivers on the Luas light rail system, which would require increases of about 31 per cent.31 per cent.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent