Bus service resumes as strike suspended

Bus service resumes as strike suspended

Bus Éireann said it hopes to run as many services as possible after workers lifted a strike for 48 hours.

A deal to suspend the crippling walk-out was agreed late last night after exploratory talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) in Dublin.

A spokesman for the company confirmed employees had agreed to lift pickets and return to work to allow for “two days of intensive talks”.

“Bus Eireann will seek to operate as many services as possible from the morning,” the company said in a statement.

“Customers are advised to check buseireann.ie and national and local media for latest updates on the operation of services.”

All commuter services in the Greater Dublin area are operating. All inter-city services from Dublin are operating.

All services in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Mayo, Donegal, Clare and Kerry are operating normally.

All School Transport Services are operating normally.

Up to 95% of bus routes had been disrupted for two days after a long-running row with the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) over a €5m savings plan hit a critical level.

Tens of thousands of people around the country were left stranded with 95% of services put off the road.

Kevin Foley, director of conciliation services at the LRC, helped broker the deal to get buses rolling again in three hours of exploratory talks.

The strike cost the company an estimated 400,000 euro over two days.

School bus runs for 114,000 children are expected to be back to normal across the country from today.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had urged union leaders to go back to negotiations with management and rejected claims he has issued any instructions to company management.

The NBRU action centred on a row over the payroll savings as the state subsidised bus attempts to stem deepening losses.

Workers from Siptu and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), which have also balloted members for industrial action, refused to pass picket lines.

Elsewhere, Siptu called on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to convene an urgent meeting of all unions with workers in parent company CIE.

Its shop stewards will meet in Liberty Hall, Dublin, tomorrow to discuss the Bus Éireann action and concerns about similar cuts to Dublin Bus and Irish Rail.

Bus Éireann is seeking a 20% cut to a range of allowance and expense payments, a reduction of overtime rates, longer working hours and a cut in shift payments.

It maintains the measures, which have already been recommended by the Labour Court, are vital for the survival of the company and security of 2,500 jobs.

The Government has also warned the bus firm lost €27m over the last five years and would not be financially viable if it does not impose cuts.

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