Dublin Bus services stop ahead of latest 48-hour strike

Thirteen more full-day stoppages are planned for September and October

Dublin Bus services stop ahead of latest 48-hour strike

Photocall file photo

Dublin Bus services stopped at 9pm tonight ahead of the latest 48-hour strike by drivers.

Work stoppages are planned for tomorrow and Saturday, as well as 13 more days across this month and next.

No Dublin Bus routes, sightseeing tours or Airlink services will operate, while Nitelink buses will not run on either Friday or Saturday night.

Union members are seeking a 15% pay rise over the next three years, as well as a payment in lieu of an agreed 6% increase that was deferred in 2009.

Dublin Bus insists it can only afford the 8.25% increase recommended by the Labour Court.

The company estimates that industrial action has cost it more than €4 million to date.

In a letter to employees yesterday, CEO Ray Coyne urged all grades to re-engage in talks.

"Unlike the impact of the economic crisis which was outside our control, resolution to the current situation is within our control at this point," he said.

"This ongoing industrial action is undermining all our past efforts and has the potential to return the company to a post 2010 financial crisis.

"This would naturally require actions to restore the company to a sound financial standing.

"Returning to such a scenario is totally unnecessary and is at this point wholly avoidable."

However, Dermot O’Leary of the NBRU said the company was to blame for ongoing disturbances faced by passengers.

"It’s long past time that Dublin Bus, with the support of the government, come back to the table without preconditions," he told Newstalk.

"People who commute in and out of Dublin [are being put] through torture. It’s about time it came to an end."

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has repeatedly declined to intervene in the dispute, saying that doing so could be interpreted as a commitment to opening the state chequebook.

Around 40,000 commuters are expected to be affected by this week’s stoppages.

The next strike days have been scheduled for September 27th and 28th, with 11 more in October, on the 1st, 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 26th and 29th.

A full list of final bus departures tonight can be found here.