SIPTU and NRBU consulting with Bus Éireann ahead of industrial action decision

"It is nothing short of disgrace that a State-owned Company would show such contempt to the Labour Court",

SIPTU and NRBU consulting with Bus Éireann ahead of industrial action decision

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

Trade union SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) are to engage in an "extensive consultation" with members of Bus Éireann ahead of any decision on industrial action.

In a statement, NBRU General Secretary Dermot O'Leary & SIPTU Transport Sector Organiser Willie Noone said Bus Eireann's workforce are "extremely angry" as they seek a pay increase of 21%.

"We are extremely aware that the financial situation at Bus Éireann can only be resolved by all the stakeholders, inclusive of the responsible Department, the NTA, Bus Éireann and the Unions coming to the table with a firm commitment to resolve this crisis", the statement reads.

"It is nothing short of disgrace that a State-owned company would show such contempt to the Labour Court and its own employees as that which was demonstrated on Tuesday last when Bus Éireann refused to engage with the Industrial Relations mechanism's norms associated with such pay disputes," it continued.

The groups are now working with employees to formulate a strategy for securing the pay increases, as well as ensuring their job security.

Bus Éireann has warned that it is in too "perilous" a state to be able to offer any pay increase for its employees.

Union workers have been calling for a 21% pay rise, a suggestion the national bus service said it "cannot countenance" at this time.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Bus Éireann's media and PR manager Nicola Cooke said:

"Bus Éireann are facing an acute and critical financial challenge and that needs to be addressed urgently."

She pointed to losses of €5.6m last year and projected losses of €6m for 2016, arguing that restructuring was needed to achieve savings in the region of €6-7m. A plan to do just that is being looked at by Grant Thornton, with Bus Éireann having received a draft review.