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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Dublin Bus strike set to continue tomorrow

The head of the NBRU trade union has said that Irish Rail workers ‘won’t sit idly by’ as their bus worker colleagues strike.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

Updated 9.30pm

THE DUBLIN BUS strike is set to continue tomorrow, it is understood.

A spokesperson from Dublin Bus confirmed to TheJournal.ie this evening that there has been no change in the current situation.

Tomorrow will mark the third day of the strike, which is being undertaken by union members opposed to cuts proposed by the company.

Irish Rail

Earlier today, a senior member of one of the trade unions representing striking Dublin Bus workers has indicated that Irish Rail members won’t ‘sit idly by’ while their bus colleagues strike.

However, assistant general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), Dermot O’Leary stopped short of saying that the workers in Irish Rail would join the strike.

An Irish Rail spokesperson said today there is no indication of a strike being imminent amongst its staff.

Dissatisfaction

Speaking to Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, O’Leary of the NBRU said that there are indications from their members in Irish Rail “that they are dissatisfied that the bus workers are being treated in this fashion”.

He said they are “not prepared to sit idly by” and “allow this to happen”. But when asked if they would join the strike, he said that the comments passed to him “are of a nature there is dissatisfaction at the way their colleagues are being treated” and that he has no indication that a strike from rail workers could be imminent.

A letter from the chief executive of Irish Rail to staff, as seen by TheJournal.ie, states that proposals from Irish Rail in relation to cost savings have been the subject of trade union ballots.

The proposals were rejected, and now Irish Rail has formally contacted the Labour Relations Commission to move the process forward.

A spokesperson for Irish Rail said the financial situation at the company is difficult, but that it is in full operation and they don’t anticipate disruption.

He said there was “no indication” of Irish Rail union members engaging in strike action.

Buses lie idle as members of SIPTU and NBRU trade unions, picket Broadstone Bus Garage on the first day of their strike. Photo Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Dublin Bus

Back with Dublin Bus, O’Leary said the Dublin Bus workers were looking for evidence that management were taking pay cuts. He also stated that NBRU workers at Dublin Bus are available to talk.

The union members were unhappy to see two ministers – Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly – “coming out criticising us in one sense and encouraging people to sit down and negotiate”, added O’Leary.

He suggested that it “would be more beneficial for all involved if they backed up these statements with actions”.

He also denied that the NBRU members are “targeting” people, saying “our members are targeting nobody… our members want to drive buses”.

Spokesperson for Dublin Bus,  Clíodhna Ní Fhátharta, said that if there is to be any talk, there must be an indication that trade unions want to talk on a basis that is constructive.

She said the talks must be around implementing savings in order to get the company back to financial stability, adding that Dublin Bus is available to talk at any time.

She said the initial plan was put to the trade unions in June 2012, and that since then the proposals have been amended and modified following meetings.

The proposals they have now are urgent, said Ní Fhátharta, and the company needs to make the savings that are contained within them.

With regard to management and executive grades facing pay cuts, she said that it is not correct to say union members were not aware of this.

Dublin Bus is willing to engage on constructive talk but all parties must be willing to come together and sit down and talk with the intention of an agreement being reached, indicated Ní Fhátharta.

Intervention

Members of SIPTU and NBRU trade unions picket Ringsend Bus Garage on the first day of their strike. Photo Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley has said the Taoiseach must be prepared intervene in the ongoing Dublin Bus dispute.

He said he is “astonished” at what he described as the “hands-off approach” being taken by the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, and added that the dispute is “impacting very badly on Dublin”.

Dooley has called on the Taoiseach to be prepared to intervene in the dispute today.

First published at 12.30pm

Read: No sign of renewed talks as Dublin Bus strike enters second day>

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