SIPTU and Unite trade union members have voted to accept the recommendations of the Labour Court in an effort to put the Bus Éireann dispute to bed once and for all.
Services around the country were brought to a standstill on March 24 for 21 days as workers took strike action against proposals to introduce pay cuts and reduce working hours. The cuts were deemed necessary by the board of Bus Éireann in order to avoid the company being declared insolvent.
The measures accepted late last week include voluntary redundancies for some drivers, clerical workers, executives, and management; reductions to overtime; and wage cuts for those earning more than €60,000. A similar ballot of NBRU members will take place this week.
It is understood that route closures earlier mooted by the company, including that of Athlone to Westport, will be cut as part of the measures to reduce costs.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Robert Troy, welcomed the agreement, and called on Minister Shane Ross to set out a timeline for the establishment of a stakeholder forum tasked with mapping out a sustainable future for Bus Éireann.
“Workers have signaled willingness to compromise and I hope management are receptive to this. It’s been well acknowledged that there are serious structural problems facing Bus Éireann which need to be resolved to secure the future of the company. Amending workers’ contracts alone will not resolve the problems facing the company,” he said.
“Minister Ross needs to set out a definitive timeline for the establishment of this stakeholder forum,” Deputy Troy added.