Thousands face disruption as Bus Éireann strike

This is seeing a knock-on effect at Irish Rail

Thousands face disruption as Bus Éireann strike

A Bus Éireann bus as it leaves Bus Áras station in Dublin city centre | Image: RollingNews.ie

Around 100,000 commuters are facing travel chaos as Bus Éireann workers mount an indefinite strike.

The company say the action will worsen its deteriorating financial situation and that it is facing imminent insolvency.

The firm lost €9.4m in 2016.

Efforts have been underway for several months to agree cost saving measures with unions. However talks have collapsed on a number of occasions.

On Thursday, unions announced an all out strike from midnight.

Meanwhile Iaranrod Éireann has announced there will be significant disruption to train services because of the bus strike.

There will be limited services on the Intercity trains between Dublin and Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Waterford.

Routes where there will be no trains on Friday include Cork commuter services, Waterford to Limerick Junction and Limerick to Galway lines.

See a full list of disrupted services here.

However Irish Rail say Friday's late night match specials from Heuston to Cork/Galway will operate.

Barry Kenny is communications manager at Irish Rail.

He told Newstalk Breakfast workers not crossing the picket line is part of the problem.

"There is that and there is also the view that the picketing is being done in a different manner to that which has happened previously.

"Obviously we do have areas where both Iaranrod Éireann and Bus Éireann have a presence, but in previous situations where one of those organisations has been involved in industrial action the other has been able to access their own workplace - that isn't the case today.

"And obviously those employees involved from Iaranrod Éireann's point of view while we don't have an industrial dispute, those who chose not to pass picket - and it's an understandably difficult situation - won't be paid".

Mr Kenny has also apologised to passengers affected, and says they will be offered refunds.

Both the Transport Minister Shane Ross and Bus Éireann say they are extremely disappointed about the action.

While SIPTU's Willie Noone says they are prepared for the long haul.

"They're now involved in a dispute that they don't want to be in.

"They're hugely determined to fight this battle and to get an outcome that they think is going to be fair and equitable to all.

"We have spoken to a number of members this morning: the feeling has been unanimous that the right decision was taken to go for strike.

"They also believe that they've no other option, and they also believe that they'll have to stay out for as long as it takes to get an outcome that they can live with".

While the chief commercial officer at Bus Éireann, Stephen Kent, has not ruled out appointing a receiver to the semi-state company if strike action continues.