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Dublin Bus drivers expected to vote in favour of 'sympathy strike' with Bus Éireann

The Bus Éireann strike is now in its 20th day.

17002980750_e68f029ee2_o Source: William Murphy

Updated 16.44

Note: On information from Bríd Smith TD, an earlier version of this article indicated that Dublin Bus drivers had voted in favour of striking. Siptu has since clarified that it is counting ballots across the company and will have a definitive result tomorrow morning

DUBLIN BUS DRIVERS have reportedly voted overwhelmingly to strike ‘in sympathy’ with the Bus Éireann workers currently manning pickets nationwide.

According to Bríd Smith TD, who has knowledge of the situation, the ballot among the drivers in Siptu was taken on Monday and Tuesday. Smith says the ballot of drivers has resulted in a 78% vote in favour of striking, though Siptu argue that is “a figure that can’t be stood over”.

While not confirming that number, Siptu has told TheJournal.ie that a final result of a ballot among members in the company will be released tomorrow.

Union sources suggest however that the drivers are expected to ballot in favour of the motion, though it is not clear how the other grades of workers within the company will vote.

Drivers striking as a grade on their own is not a situation without precedent.

Speaking this afternoon, meanwhile, Smith welcomed the news and said it is incorrect to say that the Bus Éireann strike is in no way connected with Dublin Bus.

“It’s a great show of solidarity among workers,” she told TheJournal.ie.

The company will argue that it’s illegal because you can’t take strike action over something that doesn’t affect you, but we’re talking about the death of public transport here. It affects them both directly and indirectly.

Roughly half of Dublin Bus’s drivers are Siptu members. Assuming a strike were to take place, the union would have to give seven days notice to the company before a strike could commence.

TheJournal.ie has contacted Dublin Bus for comment.

Bus Éireann’s all-out strike is now in its 20th day.


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Pasted image at 2017_03_31 09_24 AM Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

Meanwhile, negotiations aimed at ending the strike at Bus Éireann re-commenced at the Labour Court today.

Talks adjourned yesterday to allow for talks between management and unions in order to clarify certain issues. Talks will begin at 10.30am, but pickets at garages will remain in place.

The strike is now in its 20th day, causing a national stoppage of services and crippling public transport access from suburbs to cities outside of Dublin.

Talks are at the Labour Court after negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission had been unsuccessful. The company said that progress had been made on some issues, but an overall deal not reached.

The National Bus and Rail Union said that “other agencies” had influenced the talks.

“The Trade Unions, as part of this process were prepared to contribute upwards of €18m towards the savings required to resolve the financial crisis.”

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

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