Transport chaos as bus drivers strike

 

Bus Áras (via Wikimedia Commons)

Bus Áras (via Wikimedia Commons)

Over 95% of Bus Eireann services have been disrupted following a strike by members of the National Bus and Rail Union.

The strikes began at midnight last night. Michael Faherty, general secretary of the NBRU, said that both parties had been willing to talk, however no such dialogue had taken place. He added that while he had sympathy for the travelling public, the members of the union felt that they were being made an example of as the government struggle to implement the Croke Park II cuts.

Drivers are dissatisfied with the proposed implementation of a €5m cost-cutting plan which will see cuts to their overtime and premium pay.

Spokesman for the company, Andrew McLindon, said many routes were not operational. The company had previously said that they would try and operate a service as best they could, but because the strike was “unofficial and illegal” they couldn’t estimate how many drivers would strike.

He also added that the financial position of the company was precarious and this had been confirmed by the Labour Court.

“We are in a situation where we are losing over half a million euro a month. Industrial action would cost the company approximately €200,000 a day. So obviously our financial situation will be worsened by this action.”

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the action was “regrettable”.

“The unions should immediately engage with the company in talks, to bring this matter to resolution. My understanding is that the company is available to engage with the unions, and has been available for many days,” he said.

“We must all work together to save Bus Eireann services and jobs. There is no time to lose.”

Around 50,000 people use Bus Eireann’s services on a Sunday, and private bus operators such as JJ Kavanagh have said they will lay on extra services for the duration of the industrial action.

It has become clear this morning that workers from SIPTU and other unions are refusing to cross picket lines, leading to an almost total outage of service.

Dublin Bus has stressed that all its services are operational.

Bus Eireann is advising its customers to check http://www.buseireann.ie for further updates. Currently, these are the only services operational:

Expressway Inter-city

Route 1 Dublin-Belfast No Bus Éireann services operating. Translink services are operating. Translink services are at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00 EX Dublin. Services Ex Dublin will operate from Custom House Quay.

Route 30
1500 Donegal-Dublin will operate
1700 Donegal-Dublin will operate

2100 Dublin-Donegal will operate

Route 33 Dublin-Derry no Bus Éireann services operating. Translink services are operating. Translink services are at 10:00, 13:00, 17:300 and 22:00. Services from Dublin will operate from Custom House Quay.

GOBE – Dublin Airport-Cork

All services expected to operate with services operating from Dublin city centre will pick up at Georges Quay in Dublin and Merchants Quay in Cork.

Services operating in North-West

Table 492 –
0730 Dungloe/Glenties/Ardaghey/Donegal
1745 Donegal/Killybegs/Ardara/Glenties/Maas/Lettermacaward/Dungloe
2145 Donegal/Killybegs/Ardara/Glenties/Maas/Lettermacaward/Dungloe

Table 492 –
1520 Dungloe/Donegal/Dublin.

1345 Glencolmbcille/Killybegs/Donegal/Dublin.

2100 Dublin/Donegal/Glenties

*Lead image via Wikimedia Commons

Many Bus Eireann services are not running today due to industrial action. The Daily Shift’s Roisin Peddle reports… 

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