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Dublin: 2°C Monday 1 March 2021

Dublin Bus drivers mightn't go on strike but instead take 'no fares' from commuters

Drivers at the NBRU have voted for industrial action.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

BUS DRIVERS AT the NBRU have voted overwhelming in favour of industrial action after rejecting a Labour Court-recommended pay rise of 8.25%.

The National Bus and Rail Union balloted its members yesterday and today with the result seeing 96% support for industrial action.

Siptu is also balloting its members on industrial action with voting set to take place next week.

The NBRU has already tabled a number of possible options for the industrial action to take, with the union’s executive committee set to look at “no fare days” as a potential option.

This would see Dublin Bus operating for the day but drivers not charging commuters for their journeys. The other options being considered are an all-out strike, one or two day stoppages or shorter stoppages that could be a few hours long.

These options will be discussed by the union’s executive committee on Tuesday.

The NBRU’s general secretary Dermot O’Leary says that drivers will try to minimise disruption for commuters:

I know people may take this with a pinch of salt but we are sincere about it. If action is required we would hope in the first instance to keep it to a minimum. And obviously thereafter it would be up to the company what happened after that.

O’Leary says that drivers are seeking a “long-overdue” pay-rise and that they have submitted a claim for bus drivers to be paid the same as tram drivers. Drivers, he says, were the subject of pay cuts in 2013 and changes to work practices in 2009.

“The NBRU put a claim in for bus drivers to be paid the same as tram drivers, that’s a claim we put into the Labour Court,” O’Leary says.

But what we said was that the process to get us to that point had a number of legs and the first point was a pay offer similar to what the Luas drivers got.

After a lengthy dispute, Luas drivers were in June granted a 18.3% pay rise. Bus drivers are seeking a pay rise of up to 30%.

O’Leary says that the union has had no contact from the company since the Labour Court’s recommendation was rejected by drivers. He feels Minister for Transport Shane Ross has a role in encouraging the company to up its offer to drivers.

The minister, while we’re not asking for direct intervention, we would feel that he has a role to play, as the only shareholder in Dublin Bus, the he would encourage the company to come back and make an improved offer to its staff that would prevent any action.

Read: It’s looking more and more likely that a Dublin Bus strike is coming >

Read: Dublin Bus drivers reject 8.25% pay increase >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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