Bus drivers vote in favour of industrial action
Dublin Bus passengers face the threat of strikes after members of a major union voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action after rejecting an 8pc pay rise.
Members of the National Bus and Rail Union backed industrial action by a majority of 96pc.
The vote result has been revealed after the drivers rejected a Labour Court recommendation that they get an 8.25pc increase over five years, or 2.75pc a year, up to January 2018.
They want an increase equal to recently won by tram drivers, worth 3.8pc a year.
The NBRU said its National Executive Committee will meet next week to discuss what type of industrial action may be taken.
It plans to coordinate its action with the other main union, SIPTU, whose ballot result will be out next week.
The NBRU is seeking a total pay hike of 31pc to take account or a pay rise recently awarded to Luas drivers, as well as an increase to make their pay equal, and a 6pc increase under a social partnership deal that was not paid.
It wanted the Labour Court to award at least the pay increase won by Luas workers of 18pc up to 2020, or 3.8pc a year.
SIPTU Organiser John Murphy has warned there is a “strong possibility” of industrial action if the state-owned company does not make a better offer as the proposed pay hike is likely to be rejected by his members.
The recommendation by the Labour Court’s Deputy Chairman Brendan Hayes said in addition to the 8.25pc pay rise, each grade of staff could possibly negotiate further pay rises.
It said they should also enter talks with Dublin Bus with a view to further pay rises in return for productivity measures.
Mr Hayes said Dublin Bus is recovering from a deep recession and passenger numbers are on the rise after a period of continual decline. Fares had also gone up, boosting company revenue.
But it says the recovery is in its infancy and must be allowed to develop before the company could support significant wage increases.