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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 30 November 2021

Take the bus? Expect some travel headaches coming up to the May bank holiday

A protest will take place on 1 May.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated 6.30pm

TRANSPORT MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has issued a strongly-worded statement criticising unions the NBRU and SIPTU for their stance on the privatisation of some bus routes.

The National Bus and Rail Union confirmed earlier it would hold a day of industrial action over plans to put 10% of existing bus routes out to private tender.

A two-hour march to the Dáil will take place in Dublin on 1 May – International Workers Day – with other protests taking place in cities across the country. More widespread work stoppages could also take place.

More than 90% of Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann workers with the union voted in favour of the action.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One this evening, NBRU General Secretary said disruption for commuters would be kept to a minimum on 1 May – which is the Friday before a bank holiday weekend.

He said the march would only take drivers away from their jobs for around two hours in most areas – and that rush hour services wouldn’t be affected.

Last Friday, SIPTU drivers at the two companies voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action. Drivers are concerned that any privatisation would lead to job losses at the semi-state companies.

“It is disappointing that the NBRU and SIPTU withdrew from discussions being facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission,” Donohoe said.

“These discussions had been aimed at addressing employee concerns about how the tendering of 10% of routes might impact them and were making significant progress.

“There was particular focus on facilitating the vast majority of employees to remain in either Dublin Bus or Bus Éireann if either company did not succeed in the tendering process.

This was on the basis of growth in bus frequencies on the routes remaining with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.


He said the talks were also focused on protecting the terms and conditions of any employees who do transfer to other operators.

Additional reporting, Daragh Brophy.

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