Latest: No preconditions to talks, insists union in Bus Éireann dispute

Update (9.52pm): A union representing Bus Éireann employees has tonight called on the company to "withdraw pay-cut preconditions" before any talks commence.

Earlier today, Transport Minister Shane Ross called on Bus Éireann management and trade unions to engage in talks "with a blank sheet of paper".

National Bus & Rail Union general secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "Whilst the NBRU remains firmly of the belief that an eventual resolution to the Bus Éireann crisis can only be found with the buy-in of all stakeholders, it is, we feel, a reasonable proposition to expect that the company would accede to a request from its shareholder and agree to start the negotiating process without the preconditions of pay cuts," said.

Earlier:

Transport Minister Shane Ross has asked Bus Éireann management and trade unions to engage in talks "with a blank sheet of paper".

But Mr Ross has again warned he is not getting involved in talks with a cheque book.

The Transport Minister has repeatedly insisted he cannot and will not directly intervene in what he says is an industrial relations situation in Bus Éireann.

Mr Ross said it is not his job to micro-manage such companies: “This dispute will be resolved, as was the Luas dispute, with me staying out of it. My intervention would do more damage than good.”

He also said he does not have money to bail out Bus Éireann.

“I don’t want to be in there because the reason they want me in there is because they want me to come in with my cheque book.”

Trade unions are refusing to enter talks with pre-conditions and say a letter to staff from the company outlining proposed cost savings, including from wages, amounts to that.

The Minister effectively told the company they need to change that: “Let me ask both parties to go to the table with a blank sheet of paper.”

Meanwhile Bus Éireann management told another Oireachtas Committee it would be reckless not to implement cost saving and avoid the company becoming insolvent.


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