Bus strike to trigger Monday transport chaos

An all-out bus strike is set to go ahead from Monday after Bus Éireann said there is now “no basis” for reconvening talks with unions.

The company is implementing immediate cost- cutting measures which will affect take home pay and will see a number of routes axed.

The move is expected to cause commuter chaos with unions likely to announce a nationwide strike when they meet at noon today.

In a letter to staff, Bus Éireann management said it is “deeply disappointing” that it could not reach agreement with unions and “difficult decisions must subsequently be taken to safeguard our company’s future”.

“Given the unions’ current position, there is no prospect of the situation changing and, as a result, no basis for talks reconvening,” said acting CEO Ray Hernan.

The company says it must find €30m in savings — including €12m from payroll — to avoid insolvency by May.

Transport Minister Shane Ross has said he will only talk to Bus Éireann unions and management once the industrial dispute at the company is solved.

Mr Ross told the Dáil his intention during the dispute is “to keep as far away from it as possible and to leave it to the two parties involved”.

Writing to staff yesterday, Mr Hernan said a review of the company structure is almost complete but will result in “job losses in some areas but will also provide opportunities in others”.

He outlined 46 measures that will be implemented “immediately” including a ban on all unplanned and un-rostered overtime and stricter controls around bus hire. Staff will no longer be allowed to carry over annual leave and the company are to end some bus routes.

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