Thousands affected by second day of Bus Eireann strikes

Workers are out in force today to resist pay cuts

Updated 16:00

With day two of the Bus Éireann strike in full effect, thousands of passengers have been forced to make alternative travel arrangements.

Drivers say they cannot accepted cuts to their terms and conditions as the company says its facing imminent insolvency.

The unions involved say they're prepared for the long haul with pickets continuing at depots around the country.

Yesterday the action caused several disruption to trains as well, however Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny says today services are back to normal. 


"Do nothing" approach

The Minister for Transport Shane Ross is coming under increased pressure to intervene in the situation. 

This morning, Solidarity TD Mick Barry again called on the minister to “get involved in talks and open up the chequebook."

Deputy Barry insisted it is impossible to run a modern public transport service “on a shoestring” and called for a doubling of the state subsidy for public transport.

"Shane Ross has been a disgrace on this issue since day one,” said Deputy Barry. “His do nothing approach merely facilitates the low pay and privatisation agendas and he knows it.”

"Society accepts that there needs to be serious public investment in services such as health and education. 

“There now needs to be serious investment in public transport.” 

He said it is “crazy stuff” to try and run bus services on a public service order subvention nearly 20% below what it was 8 years ago.

Bus Éireann’s subvention level decreased from €49.4m in 2009 to a low of €33.7m in 2015 – before rising to €40.8m in 2016.

Students

Thousands of students are being affected as well by the strike action. The Union of Students in Ireland says a large numbers of students rely on the bus to get home at weekends.

Annie Hoey, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said Minister Ross needs to show leadership. 

Members of the NBRU and SIPTU are out in force to dispute the pay cuts. Workers have gathered outside BusAras in Dublin to protest today. 

Members of the NAtional Bus and Rail Union on the picket line for the second day of strikes at Bus Éireann, 25-03-2017. Image: Aisling Roche/Newstalk