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Saturday 10 December 2016

Chaos looms as bus drivers vote to strike

Vote result likely to be in favour of taking action

Dermot O'Leary, NBRU general secretary, said that any industrial action would be likely to occur in the
Dermot O'Leary, NBRU general secretary, said that any industrial action would be likely to occur in the "short to medium term".

Commuter chaos is looming as Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann are likely to be hit by industrial action in the coming weeks as another union representing workers at the two companies will announce the result of their ballot today.

Workers with the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have voted over the issue of industrial action in recent days and the result, which is likely to be in favour of taking action, is due this morning.

It comes after drivers in Siptu last week voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.

The proposed strike action is a result of an ongoing row over government proposals to privatise 10pc of routes.

Dermot O'Leary, NBRU general secretary, said that any industrial action would be likely to occur in the "short to medium term".

"The indication from membership in both bus companies is that there will be a very strong mandate in opposing what, from our perspective, is the Fine Gael and Labour Government policy," Mr O'Leary said.

"After the ballot is counted today, we will be making a decision on how then to proceed with the expected mandate," he added.

Mr O'Leary revealed that a threatened legal action by the union against the National Transport Authority and Government over the issue is "pending" and that it may appear in court in the coming days.

"We are hoping to be in the court by the end of this week or the start of next week," he said.

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"The NBRU are adamant on not having any of our members transfer from the bus companies to a private company. We would be very strong on that," he said.

The ballots were held after talks in the Labour Relations Commission - between the National TA, Department of Transport, the companies and the unions - broke down.

Shop stewards at Siptu will also meet today to decide how they will proceed.

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