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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 16 January 2021

Bus Éireann workers reject labour commission proposals

Siptu members have voted “overwhelming” against what was tabled by the Labour Relations Commission.

Image: Bus Eireann

Update: 3.50pm

BUS ÉIREANN WORKERS have rejected proposals tabled by the Labour Relations Commission, continuing a long-running dispute over changes to employee terms and conditions.

Siptu said its members voted by an “overwhelming” margin of almost nine to one.

After the count at Liberty Hall in Dublin, sector organiser Willie Noone said union representatives are available to recommence talks with management so a new set of “more acceptable” proposals can be put to workers.

“These talks would include reference to the new propositions for change throughout the public service which are contained in the recently published LRC proposals for a public service agreement,” he added.

Another union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, has already voted to reject the proposals.

A planned strike was called off in January as all parties to the dispute agreed to attend a Labour Court hearing.

Bus Éireann has previously said that if cuts to annual leave and overtime, shift, premium and rota payments are not made, job losses would be inevitable as annual losses would reach €16 million.

In a statement this afternoon, the company said it noted the union’s decision “with disappointment”.

According to the Labour Court and the trade unions’ own independent financial assessors, Bus Éireann is in a “precarious financial situation with the very viability of the company under threat”.

The transport group reiterated its claim that a failure to achieve savings would place the company in further jeopardy, leaving it with no options other than to cut basic pay or reduce staff numbers.

“As we outlined recently to our employees, unlike the wider public service, there is no safety net for Bus Éireann; if we do not reduce our cost base, job losses may be unavoidable.”

The spokesperson also warned against strikes, stating any such action would “only exacerbate financial difficulties”.

“Unlike those directly employed in the public and civil service that would have jobs to return to after any industrial action, our employees may not.”

Read: Bus Éireann strike action called off

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