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TSSA to ballot for industrial action for Bus Eireann workers

Bus Eireann has decided to introduce a range of cost-cutting measures, including cutting overtime, shift, premium and rota payments.

Bus Eireann buses parked at Busaras Station.
Bus Eireann buses parked at Busaras Station.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

COMMUTERS COULD FACE chaos in the coming weeks after the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association has told their 350 members that they will issue an industrial strike ballot.

It comes after Bus Eireann decided to introduce a range of cost-cutting measures, which will come into force on 13 January 2013, including cutting overtime, shift, premium and rota payments as well as annual leave.

CEO Martin Nolan sent a letter to staff on 14 December outlining the changes, which also include a longer working week for clerical and executive employees, a reduction of sick days and the scrapping of some bonus payments.

The company said it could face annual losses of €16 million if the cuts are not made.

SIPTU have already issued a ballot for industrial action to its members and Jim Kavanagh, TSSA Irish Organiser, told TheJournal.ie that although they would work with other unions to make decisions, if Bus Eireann go ahead with their changes, action will be taken immediately:

We are working with other unions and we’ll make a decision together on industrial action but if the company go ahead [with their changes] on the 13 January all unions will have no choice but to withdraw our members and go to strike. If a third party wants to intervene, we are open for discussions, as long as the threat within the letter issues on 14 December is withdrawn.

Kavanagh went on to say say that they are hoping to “engage in talks to look at ways of addressing the financial situation” because cutting wages, including basic pay, and other contractual conditions of employment “is not acceptable”.

We don’t go for a ballots unless it’s extremely necessary but we looked and there is nothing else to give – our people are telling us ‘we’d be better off on the dole’.

Read: Bus Eireann to cut some payments after unions reject Labour Court hearing >

Read: SIPTU to ballot for industrial action over changes in Bus Éireann >

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Amy Croffey

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