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Friday 2 December 2016

Six days of strike chaos on way as Dublin Bus talks break down

NBRU chief Dermot O’Leary
NBRU chief Dermot O’Leary

Dubliners are set for travel chaos next week after pay talks between Dublin Bus and its drivers broke down last night

Discussions were described by the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) as "an exercise in futility", with strike action due to kick off in the coming week.

Six days of strike action is planned by bus drivers - two of which are due to take place on Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9.

The other strike dates are September 15, 16, and the 23 and 24.

It is estimated that more than 400,000 commuters will be affected each day.

Shackles

General Secretary of the NBRU, Dermot O'Leary has called on Transport minister, Shane Ross to loosen the shackles on the company and allow them to enter into negotiations to provide a solution.

The NBRU were told by Dublin Bus that they could not offer more than the original increase of 8.25pc recommended by the Labour Court in July. Bus drivers are seeking a pay rise in keeping with that awarded to Luas drivers earlier this year.

"We did advise in advance of our meeting that parading all parties through the door to create what has now transpired to be a false and misleading impression that the issue of pay could be magically resolved, was something that staff and commuters would find intolerable," Mr O'Leary said.

"This ritualistic marching of people in and out of buildings, creating as it were an impression that the workers are being intractable serves no purpose.

"The onus is now on the shareholder to unshackle the restraints on Dublin Bus and allow it the opportunity to work with its staff towards finding a solution," he added.

Discussions

Dublin Bus encouraged unions to call off strike action and to meet for discussions on areas of productivity that could save the company money and increase pay.

"Dublin Bus urges the trade union group and all employees not to take part in any industrial action but to engage in discussions to explore areas of productivity that can achieve savings and ultimately fund an additional increase in pay over and above the Labour Court recommendation."

"I'm disappointed that despite intensive efforts of both the company and trade unions... that commuters will face massive disruption on Thursday and Friday next," Mr Ross said.

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