Siptu expects Dublin Bus talks to be ‘difficult’

Unions and management arrive for talks at Labour Court after three days of strike action

Buses lparked up in Conyngham Road Garage in Dublin city. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Buses lparked up in Conyngham Road Garage in Dublin city. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times


Trade union Siptu has said talks today at the Labour Court aimed at resolving the dispute at Dublin Bus would be “very difficult”.

Siptu sector organiser Willie Noone said his members had rejected a Labour Court recommendation on cost-cutting at the company and there would have to be “movement” on those proposals if they were to be acceptable.

A three-day strike at Dublin Bus which affected around 400,000 passengers was suspended on Tuesday to facilitate new talks with management at the Labour Court.

Management deferred the implementation of the cost-saving programme to allow the new talks to go ahead.

Arriving at the Labour Court today Mr Noone said that when they balloted in proposals his members needed “to know what they were getting”.

He said they needed to be able to quantify that and to have their concerns and fears addressed.

Dermot O’Leary of the National Bus and Rail Union said issues around certainty regarding the duration of the proposed retrenchment measures and the contribution of management to the saving programme would be key issues.

He said his union had come to the talks “to do business”.

Minister of State for Public Transport Alan Kelly earlier said he believed the sides would be able reach a compromise. This would mean savings for Dublin Bus and protect its future and the jobs of its employees.

The strike was the second in the broader CIÉ group in recent months, as management sought financial restructuring in the face of reduced State subvention, higher fuel costs and falling passenger revenue.

Business leaders maintained the three-day strike had generated losses of millions of euro in Dublin city.

The strike was suspended by the two unions involved, Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union, after the Labour Court invited them and management to exploratory talks.

Dublin Bus management said it would seek to facilitate the new talks by putting on hold the implementation of the controversial cost-saving plan, a move which led the unions to agree to lift the pickets.