Public transport passengers throughout Galway are being advised to check the Bus Eireann website this morning to see if services will resume following talks which continued up to the deadline of midnight last night.
The Bus Eireann dispute over proposed cuts also stepped up a gear yesterday after SIPTU warned members would be balloted on strike action today in solidarity with members of the NBRU (National Bus and Rail Union ) if the €5 million cost saving measures went ahead.
Hundreds of passengers throughout Galway city and county were left stranded when members from the NBRU joined colleagues nationally in going on strike during Sunday and Monday. All inter-city, county, and city services from the Galway city centre depot were suspended, leaving passengers to find alternative ways of getting to work, college and in some cases school. The school transport services operated as normal, however, those who do not use this service were inconvenienced. It is understood that commuters on the east side of the city, including Parkmore Industrial Estate and Doughiska, were severely affected as were residents in areas of Connemara, such as Carna, who were unable to avail of the Citylink service between the city and Clifden. During the two day strike union members continued to picket at the entrance to the Galway Bus Depot.
Bus Eireann services resumed on Tuesday after management and the NBRU agreed a 48 hour window to resolve the strike. Talks between management, the NBRU and other unions including SIPTU had been taking place at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC ) up until the deadline of midnight last night. Today, passengers throughout the country are set to find out if talks resulted in a resolution. It is feared that if talks have failed that commuters could face even further disruption, particularly if SIPTU members, who along with members of the Transport Salaried Staff’s Association (TSSA ), also join the strike.
Speaking to the Advertiser ahead of the two day strike, NBRU Galway branch secretary Michael D’Arcy said: “Nobody wants to be in this situation. The workers don’t want this to happen. The members realise that changes have to be made, that times are tough. Hopefully common ground will be found.”
During the two day strike Irish Citylink provided additional coaches and capacity to cater for passengers affected by the NBRU strike. It continued its full schedule of inter-city passenger and commuter services as normal, including the four main routes of Galway to Dublin city and airport, Galway to Athlone and to Dublin city/airport, Galway to Limerick and Cork, and Galway to Clifden commuter.