Bus Eireann back in business for now but Dublin Bus strike on cards after 'solidarity' vote

Dublin Bus workers showing their support for the Bus Eireann strike
Dublin Bus workers showing their support for the Bus Eireann strike

Following Labour Court recommendations, the Bus Eireann strike will end for the time being after news that Dublin Bus workers voted to strike in sympathy with their counterparts.

Dublin Bus workers today voted to go on strike in solidarity with picketing Bus Eireann staff.

This came before the Bus Eireann strike was called off temporarily this afternoon after the Labour Court issued its recommendations.

Bus Eireann union members will now vote on the Labour Court proposals, and will decide whether further strike action will be taken.

Buses are expected to be back in service by tomorrow but if the recommendations are rejected, both Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann staff could be taking to the pickets.

The Dublin Bus ballot was counted at Liberty Hall today and 67% of staff voted in favour of the action.

SIPTU organiser John Murphy said in a statement: "The ballot count has been completed and the majority of SIPTU members in Dublin Bus have voted to take industrial action in support of, and in sympathy with, their colleagues in Bus Eireann.

"Most SIPTU members in Dublin Bus are bus drivers and this grade voted by 67% to 33% in favour of taking industrial action.

"SIPTU representatives will now liaise with our colleagues involved in that dispute to discuss when to serve the necessary notice of industrial action on the management of Dublin Bus."

After 21 days of strike action, Bus Eireann stand to have lost over €10m. Over 1,900 workers will now return to their posts after the prolonged strike, which occurred after the company told workers it would impose cuts to reduce its payroll bill by €12m.

The National Bus & Rail Union welcomed the Labour Court recommendations and are keen to engage with Bus Eireann staff.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "The Labour Court has today issued its recommendation across a range of grades, it is quite obvious, just from a cursory glance, that our contention that major cultural change is imminent has been borne out by this recommendation.

"We will now move immediately into a consultative phase with our members across Bus Eireann in order that they will be fully informed in advance of casting their ballot on the fundamental issues contained in the recommendation."

He continued to say: "Our members will now return to work after 21 days on strike, they have shown tremendous dignity throughout what has been an extremely difficult dispute, for that they are to be commended.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to thank members of the travelling public for their massive support and understanding through what has been a difficult time for them in having to make alternative travel arrangements for their daily commute."