Bus Strike: Hopes of breakthrough in talks
There are fresh hopes that talks between bus companies, unions and the National Transport Authority will reach a breakthrough ahead of this week's planned strike after "open and robust" exchanges between the sides at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) yesterday.
Representatives from management at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, and trade unions Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) were joined at the talks in the LRC by delegates from the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Department of Transport.
A senior source indicated that the talks, which will resume this afternoon, were dominated by the unions, the NTA and the department.
It is understood the discussions were "frank, open and robust", and it has been indicated by senior sources that this morning offers a window of opportunity for all sides to return to the table after "putting something together".
These intense talks are aimed towards averting commuter chaos this weekend, as drivers at both State companies are planning to participate in strike action on Friday and Saturday.
Workers held strike action for two days over the May Bank Holiday weekend, which had a significant impact on retailers and severely disrupted commuters.
The dispute centres around plans to put 10pc of routes up for private tender, in order to comply with an EU directive. Employees at both companies also intend to strike on on May 29, 30 and 31.