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Varadkar urges unions to engage with Bus Éireann, says cuts can't be postponed

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said that Bus Éireann would have to implement the LRC measures on 12 May unless “alternative approaches” could be found.

Fine Gael Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar (file photo)
Fine Gael Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar (file photo)
Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, TOURISM AND SPORT Leo Varadkar has said that Bus Éireann can’t postpone the implementation of cost-saving recommendations any longer.

Commenting on SIPTU’s plans to ballot for strike action, the minister said that Bus Éireann was in a “very difficult financial position” and that the unsustainable nature of its losses had placed the “viability of the company at risk.”

The cost-cutting measures as proposed by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) are due to come into effect on 12 May.

Varadkar warned that unless unions engaged with Bus Éireann to “discuss alternative approaches” before this date, the implementation of the measures as they stand “must proceed”.

11 months after deliberations started and three months after the Labour Court recommendation was issued, the company simply can’t postpone the implementation any longer.

Speaking of protecting bus services for the public, he added that the loss-making nature of its current services needed to be addressed once and for all.

The future of the company needs to be secured, for the public who depend on its services and for the benefit of its employees.
Bus Éireann runs commercial Expressway Services which are currently loss making and legally the State cannot support these services.
The viability of these services can only be secured if these savings are now achieved.

Read: SIPTU to ballot for strike action as Bus Éireann commits to cost cutting >

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Paul Hyland

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