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Can talks prevent the next bus strike, or is the situation 'out of control'?

Further talks between unions and management are due to be held today.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A DISPUTE OVER the privatisation of some Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus routes is set to return to the Labour Relations Commission in an attempt to avoid another strike.

A two-day strike over the Bank Holiday weekend earlier this month caused widespread disruption to commuters.

Another two days of industrial action are due to be held this coming Friday and Saturday, as well as three days between the 29 and 31 of this month.

The LRC stepped in before in this dispute, centred around 10% of bus routes being put out to tender, but talks fell through.

It was announced yesterday that further talks are now due to take place today at 3pm.

In a statement, Dermot O’Leary from the National Bus and Rail Union said the union “will, as matter of course, be attending”.

“However it is important that there is a clear understanding of our position,” he added.

It requires an all party commitment to address all of the issues on the pre- agreed interlocked agenda, inclusive of no staff transferring, no legacy cost consequences for staff, extraction of labour costs from tendering, a regulatory regime with teeth that will ensure that a breach of contract on agreed employment terms and conditions will be met with penalties.

Fianna Fáil’s transport spokesperson Timmy Dooley said earlier today that the situation is “out of control”.

“Commuters, tourists and the economy are bearing the brunt of an ongoing stand-off between the Government and transport workers.

“With no end in sight, it is high time that Minister Donohoe started taking charge of the situation before more lives are disrupted,” he added.

Read: Will private cars be able to use the empty bus lanes during the strike?

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