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Bus Eireann staff called ‘wildcat’ strike as workers feared Union couldn’t afford strike pay

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Bus Eireann staff called ‘wildcat’ strike as workers feared Union couldn’t afford strike pay

THE ‘Wildcat’ stoppage by Bus Eireann staff was arranged because some workers feared the National Bus and Rail Union could not afford prolonged strike pay, the Sunday World has learned.

The unofficial strike on Friday was arranged, mostly on social media, by members of the NBRU, but without the knowledge of the union’s leaders.

It’s understood a group of workers decided to take action as they feared Bus Eireann were trying to “wait out” the NBRU.

Workers from both SIPTU and the NBRU are involved in the strike.

A source has told the Sunday World that workers feared the company were happy to have a prolonged strike because they believed the NBRU would not be able to afford to stump up strike pay.

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“The rumour going around was that Bus Eireann’s strategy was to prolong the strike until the NBRU ran out of strike pay – weakening the union’s position significantly.

“SIPTU could have afforded to be in for the long haul, but the NBRU is much smaller and people were saying their strike pay would run out quickly.”

General Secretary of the NBRU Dermot O’Leary said that until a resolution is reached he cannot guarantee there won’t be more wildcat strikes.

He explained: “My union was not involved, I had no knowledge of it.

“I’ve been explaining to people for weeks and weeks that this issue at Bus Éireann could possibly develop into something people like me could not control. So if it happened once, than obviously people could deduce that could happen a second time.”