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SIPTU Dublin Bus drivers vote against industrial action

SIPTU said the acceptance of cost reduction proposals by the majority of workers indicated that any strike action would not have the level of unity required.

Image: Canadian Pacific via Flickr

SIPTU Dublin Bus drivers have voted against industrial action in a ballot over the last two days.

Drivers voted by 72 per cent to 28 per cent against taking strike action in opposition to the implementation of a cost-savings plan. Counting of the ballots by the drivers was completed in Liberty Hall this evening.

SIPTU Organiser, John Murphy, said: “The acceptance of the cost reduction proposals by a majority of their colleagues in previous ballots indicated to bus drivers that any strike action would not have the level of unity and support which would be required to successfully fend off the proposed cuts.”

Continuing the battle

“SIPTU members employed by Dublin Bus have fought against the continuing cuts to their employment conditions and will continue this battle in the face of government proposals to further undermine them,” he said.

Increases in fares, the continued lowering of the State subvention and proposals to privatise routes are leading to the lowering of workers conditions of employment and damaging the transport service to the public. SIPTU bus drivers recognise that a united work force, with public support, is required to successfully combat these moves

The decision to ballot for industrial action came after drivers voted to reject a new deal last week, though there was just a two per cent margin in the results. Members of the other union representing drivers, the NBRU, voted to accept the deal and the company said it would press ahead with its plans from 17 November.

The new proposals came out of an independent report into the company’s future, which warned against strike action. Cost-saving measures proposed in the report were subsequently backed by Dublin Bus, which has said cuts are necessary to reduce its €52 million deficit.

Effects of the recession

Dublin Bus welcomed the outcome of the ballot this evening and thanked employees for their co-operation.

“Due to the effects of the economic recession, the last number of years have been difficult for all employees who have worked together to implement a number of cost cutting and change Programmes,” the company commented in a statement.

Ministers Leo Varadkar and Alan Kelly said in a joint statement that this outcome “is in the best interests of the company, all of its employees, and everyone who depends on its services”.

Related: Dublin Bus to implement cost-cutting plans as unions split on proposals>

More: Dublin Bus drivers vote on new company plan>

Read: “The outlook for Dublin Bus is stark if this effort does not succeed” – Varadkar and Kelly>

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