Bus Éireann strikes lifted following Labour Court ruling

The company has said it could be lunchtime tomorrow before all services are up and running

Bus Éireann workers are set to return to work following 21 days of strike action after the Labour Court issued its recommendation on the dispute this afternoon.

The company has said it could be lunchtime tomorrow before all services are up and running.

The general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union, Dermot O’Leary welcomed the Labour Court recommendation and commended union members for showing “tremendous dignity throughout what has been an extremely difficult dispute.”

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank members of the travelling public for their massive support and understanding through what has been a difficult time for them in having to make alternative travel arrangements for their daily commute," he said.

He claimed the recommendations have backed the union’s stance that “major cultural change” will be needed within the organisation in order to stave off insolvency and keep the company viable.

Unions will take some time to consider the recommendations and consult with their members before the vote on whether they should be accepted.

Mr O'Leary said the recommendations are "pretty comprehensive and pretty detailed."

"Obviously it is complex - and we said it would be," he said. "We also said it would involve major cultural changes at Bus Éireann and that is reflected in the recommendation as well."

"You will appreciate that my members have just got it in the last few minutes through their email system; they are reading it as well and they are the experts when it comes to understanding what is in it for them."

The company claims it lost €500,000 for every day the strike continued and management last night said they were disappointed that the strikes had not already been lifted.

Speaking this morning, the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said she is hopeful the dispute will now come to an end.

"We absolutely want to see - clearly - our transport services back in place again as soon as possible," she said.

"That has been the entire approach this government has adopted to this - that we want to see a resolution and encourage all parties to be part of that."

Meanwhile, SIPTU members in Dublin Bus have voted in favour of taking industrial action in support of their Bus Éireann colleagues.

SIPTU Organiser, John Murphy, said: “The ballot count has been completed and the majority of SIPTU members in Dublin Bus have voted to take industrial action in support of, and in sympathy with, their colleagues in Bus Éireann.

“SIPTU representatives will now liaise with our colleagues involved in that dispute to discuss when to serve the necessary notice of industrial action on the management of Dublin Bus.”

It remains unclear how the latest development will affect the decision - however should unions decide to recommend that members reject the Labour Court ruling, the support of Dublin Bus staff will increase the pressure on the Minister for Transport to intervene and help broker a solution.