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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 29 September 2020
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Dublin Bus says strikes "will have a catastrophic impact" on company's finances

The company said the current stoppage will cost €2m.

Dublin Bus Drivers Strike. Pictured (LtoR) Driver Domhnaill Farrelly (24years a driver) and Ed Kaerney (21 years a driver) Dublin Bus Drivers outside the Donnybrook Depot during the second round of 48-hour bus strikes.
Dublin Bus Drivers Strike. Pictured (LtoR) Driver Domhnaill Farrelly (24years a driver) and Ed Kaerney (21 years a driver) Dublin Bus Drivers outside the Donnybrook Depot during the second round of 48-hour bus strikes.
Image: Sam Boal

THE THIRD 48-HOUR Dublin Bus strike is underway – and traffic is expected to be impacted this morning as a result.

The strike action began after the last services departed at 9pm last night.

This is the same arrangement as the previous two strikes, due to the fact that Dublin Bus management says the earlier finish is necessary “to ensure the safe and secure return of buses to each depot prior to the commencement of industrial action by all employees at midnight”.

It has apologised to customers for the disruption. The full details of the services which are affected over the 48 hours are available here.

  • No Dublin Bus routes, sightseeing tours or Airlink services will operate on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September.
  • Nitelink services will not operate on Friday night/Saturday morning (23/24 September) or on Saturday night/Sunday morning (24/25 September).

The five unions representing the bus drivers are seeking a 15% pay increase over the next three years and a 6% rise they say they were due to get under an agreement in 2009, but which was deferred.

The industrial action comes about after unions rejected a Labour Court-recommended 8.25% increase over the next three years.

Cost of the stoppages

Dublin Bus said in a statement that the cost of the stoppages to date have cost the company over €4m. It said that the two-day stoppage this week will cost an additional €2m and leave the company in a loss-making position by the end of 2016.

The additional 13 days of planned stoppages will cost the company an additional €15m. This will have a catastrophic impact on Dublin Bus’ financial position.

“The cost of funding the 15% sought by the Trade Unions is €50m to the end of 2018,” said the statement. “This additional cost on a company that has only recently returned to a sound financial footing is simply not affordable.”

Dublin Bus has come through an extremely tough financial period in recent years due to the recession and has only just reached a stable financial footing. We have a responsibility to our employees and to the taxpayer to manage our finances to safeguard the economic and financial stability of the company.

Dublin Bus said it remains “willing and open to engage with the Trade Unions and urge them to return to talks as provided for in the Labour Court recommendation, so that we can work together to move forward and find a resolution to the current dispute”.

Thirteen more days of strike action are planned for this month and October.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said yesterday that he wouldn’t ride in “on a white horse in shining armour and have a cheque book and say that’s going to solve the problem”.

That would be exactly the wrong thing to do. This dispute, as everybody knows, will be resolved. It won’t be resolved if I participate in it in a way which would make things far worse.

The opposition parties, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, have called for the minister to intervene in the dispute. But Ross said that the government’s position is “quite clear”: “This has to be settled between the parties.”

March

The five unions representing the workers – NBRU, SIPTU, TSSA, UNITE, and TEEU – have organised a march to take place on Tuesday 27 September.

They said that they will meet at the Garden of Remembrance at 12 noon and march down O’Connell St to Molesworth St. A rally will then take place outside Leinster House.

The unions said that the march is to “send a message that workers mean business”.

Read: The next bus strike starts at 9 tonight, and there are NO Nitelinks this weekend>

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