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Business owners call for immediate resolution in Dublin Bus dispute

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Business owners call for immediate resolution in Dublin Bus dispute

Business owners in the city centre have called for an immediate resolution to be found in the Dublin Bus dispute after the “quietest Saturday" the city has ever seen.

Yesterday’s action by bus workers saw a huge plunge in business, with sales in some stores down by 60pc.

Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) chief executive David Fitzsimons said some retailers closed their stores early in the afternoon.

On a day that shopkeepers described as the "quietest Saturday ever", thousands of shoppers avoided the city centre as a row between Dublin Bus management and staff over pay escalated into a sixth day of strike action.

The strikes have cost Dublin Bus more than €4m so far.

"Dublin retailers have had a lot to contend with in recent months, including the Luas Cross City construction works and the lack of visitor coach parking facilities in the city. When you are talking to large national retail chains who are considering closing their Dublin stores early, you know that the situation is bleak."

Drivers went on strike in pursuit of a 15pc pay increase earlier this month. Workers at the company previously rejected an 8.25pc pay rise suggested by the Labour Court.

A further 11 days of strike action are planned for the coming weeks. Staff will strike on Tuesday and Wednesday before a third day of industrial action on Saturday, the day Dublin face Mayo in the All Ireland final replay.

Meanwhile, The National Bus and Railworkers Union have agree to attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission for exploratory talks tomorrow.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "Whilst the request to attend at talks without preconditions is something the trade unions have long been calling for, the fact is that our members are extremely angry that the inaction to date by the company and the Department of Transport has caused severe disruption to commuters and staff alike.”