Dublin bus strike called off

Dublin bus strike called off

DUBLIN buses will run tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday after unions called of strikes at eleventh hour talks to end the dispute over a pay rise.

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) confirmed that it has suspended the 48 hour stoppage in order to engage in intensive discussion to settle the dispute.

However, Saturday's strike that will take place on the day of the All-Ireland replay between Dublin and Mayo is still set to go ahead unless there is progress at talks.

General Secretary of the NBRU, Dermot O'Leary, said his union was placing its trust in the Workplace Relations Commission by suspending the 48-hour strike.

“In agreeing to suspend our member’s industrial action we are placing our trust in the WRC and its assessment, following its separate exploratory discussions with Dublin Bus, that significant progress can be achieved over the next number of days in order to find a resolution to this dispute,” he said.

“The onus is now very much on Dublin Bus to come to the negotiating table and step up to the plate to go significantly beyond what has already been rejected by all of the staff.”

He said the company must work with the unions to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the dispute.

“Falling short is simply not an option for commuters and staff alike," he said.

Earlier, the main unions at the semi-state company indicated they would call off the work stoppages company agreed in principle to give a pay rise above 8.25pc.

The National Bus and Railworkers Union and Siptu have been at talks since 2pm to end the disruptive dispute as 13 more days of strikes are planned.

They attended negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission following a weekend invitation in a bid to end the disruptive dispute that has already halted services for six days.

Officials at the Workplace Relations Commission were racing against the clock to reach an agreement that would prompt unions to call off strikes.

There was a very short window for talks as they began at 2pm, while services were due to stop at 9pm ahead of tomorrow’s strike.

Speaking outside the Workplace Relations Commission after the talks, Mr O'Leary said unions would enter intense discussions over the next few days to find a resolution to the dispute.

"There is a dispute set for next Saturday which we have not been asked to postpone, and we're not going to postpone," he said.

"There's an opportunity for the employer to come back to the table with the support of those in the department. They will need that support in order to reach a resolution.

"We're quite serious and focused coming in here tomorrow, or however long it takes, to get a resolution to this dispute."

SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Owen Reidy, said the commission had been clear that there was scope to make progress.

"All of the five unions have been very clear the only way we can make progress (is) if we can improve upon what was rejected," he said.

"We are happy the WRC has made this initiative and we are very happy the workers will be able to work tomorrow and the travelling public will not be discommoded."

However, he said he would sound a word of caution.

"We have a couple of days to try and fix this," he said. "The other dates that all of the unions have put in the diary remain, starting from Saturday, but our earnest wish is that we don't have to invoke that."

He said there is a responsibility on Dublin Bus to come to the table and make an improvement on an 8.25pc pay rise over three years.

"There's a window of opportunity now, we just hope that Dublin Bus management use it," he said.

"There's a crisis here that it seems others have sleep-walked into.

"It's up to the government to allow Dublin Bus management to do what needs to be done here.