Bus drivers are being urged to call off days of strike action planned for later this month.
Drivers at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann will man pickets until midnight on Saturday in a row over plans to privatise 10% of routes around the country.
The companies are in the process of beginning legal proceedings over the strike - which they say is illegal - in a bid to recoup €20m in lost revenue as a result of the strike.
The Education Minister is calling on SIPTU and the NBRU to call off a further five days of action later this month.
Jan O'Sullivan says no one benefits from the dispute.
"I do hope that this will be the last one (strike). I know they have talked of other days as well but the machinery of the state is there. Kieran Mulvey has indicated clearly that discussions and negotiations would be appropriate."
She added: "Nobody is benefiting from a bus strike. The company obviously is losing a lot of money. The workers are out on strike instead of working and being paid and the general public is hugely inconvenienced."
Meanwhile bus drivers are leading the annual Mayday rally in Dublin this evening.
Up to 800 people are reported to be taking part in the demonstration outside Liberty Hall.
Representatives of the recently elected Greek Government party Syriza are said to in attendance.
Update at 9.30pm
The first of two days of strike action at Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus is coming to a close with over one million people said to be affected today.
Members of SIPTU and the NBRU have held rallies in the capital and in Cork today as part of their 48 hours of industrial action - the first in a series of strikes this month.
The row centres on plans to privatise 10% of routes across the country.