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Bus Éireann strike: LRC invites company and workers to talks

Bus Eireann has said it will attend the talks, which have been welcomed by the government – but no word yet from workers.

Members of the NBRU picket outside the Bus Éireann depot in Broadstone yesterday.
Members of the NBRU picket outside the Bus Éireann depot in Broadstone yesterday.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Updated, 18:38

THE LABOUR RELATIONS Commission has issued an invitation to Bus Éireann and a union representing nearly half of its workers to attend talks in efforts to end their two-day strike.

1,100 members of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have been on strike since yesterday over Bus Éireann’s plans to cut pay and extend working hours.

The efforts follow Labour Court recommendations to make €5 million in savings at the loss-making bus company.

Only a handful of services have operated since yesterday, with large numbers of non-NBRU workers refusing to pass the picket.

Bus Éireann said it had accepted the invitation to the talks, which would begin at 8pm tonight, and that it welcomed the invitation – which had come without preconditions.

It is not yet clear whether the NBRU will accept the invitation to attend the talks, nor whether any continuing picket would be stood down while the talks were going ahead.

NBRU’s head office could not disclose whether the invitation had been accepted, when contacted by TheJournal.ie this afternoon.

Transport minister Leo Varadkar and public transport junior minister Alan Kelly both welcomed the LRC’s offer to mediate talks between the wto sides.

“All sides need to work together to secure the future of services and jobs at Bus Éireann, and I am glad to see this happening,” Varadkar said in a statement.

“I encourage both parties to reach a speedy resolution.”

Kelly said the financial situation facing Bus Éireann was “one of the most serious situations ever facing the public transport system in the history of the State”, and urged both sides to use the LRC’s invite to come up with a mutually acceptable solution.

Read: Here are the only Bus Éireann services which are operating right now

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Gavan Reilly

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