Union say Bus Eireann strike threat cannot go unanswered by government

The NRBU warned politicians today that changes to the service would result in industrial action

Union say Bus Eireann strike threat cannot go unanswered by government

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

The National Bus and Rail Union say the threat to Bus Eireann expressway services can't go unanswered by the government.

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary criticised Transport Minister Shane Ross for not engaging with them.

The NBRU were before the Oireachtas Transport Committee earlier to discuss controversial plans for the restructuring of the Bus Eireann expressway service.

Dermot O'Leary says the people of rural Ireland won't stand for the cutting of their bus services, and the Minister needs to engage.

"I've written to him on three occasions", Dermot O'Leary told the committee. "I gave him a brief in June forewarning him about the issues with Bus Eireann."

The union accused the NTA of “mismanagement” because it awarded licences to private operators on Expressway routes, which it argues has undermined the Bus Éireann service.

Tensions escalated this week after the union dismissed the NTA as “the HSE on wheels” in a letter to Transport Minister Shane Ross.

The result of the ballot is expected within the next two weeks.

Last month the NBRU accused Bus Éireann of dropping “an industrial relations bombshell” after it emerged the company is reviewing Expressway with a view to restructuring the service.

“The damage that has been inflicted on Bus Éireann by this policy cannot nor should not be underestimated — in particular the effect on the Expressway business by the issuing and amending of Licences by the Department and the NTA,” wrote Mr O’Leary.

“Woe betide the politicians who would be held responsible for the dismantling of these vital transport links into hundreds of communities across Ireland.”