Bus Éireann 'absolutely' willing to talk with unions

Unions, meanwhile, are calling for engagement with the company with 'no preconditions'

Bus Éireann 'absolutely' willing to talk with unions

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Bus Éireann says it is 'absolutely' willing to talk to unions, but has not withdrawn the threat of Labour Court action.

Staff at the transport firm have been told that, unless they agree to cost-cutting proposals, management will attempt to legally enforce them.

Unions representing workers at Bus Éireann yesterday announced an all-out strike beginning on the 20th February if the company proceeds with the cuts.

Unions believe the cuts could amount to losses of over 30% to workers earnings.

The company, meanwhile, has warned that it is facing insolvency within 18 months if urgent actions are not taken.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Bus Éireann spokesperson Nicola Cooke explained: "If the unions come to us... Ray Hernan, the acting CEO, has said if they have other proposals for how we can achieve these savings we will absolutely listen to them.

"We absolutely want to sit down and engage with unions, and we do call on them to sit down and engage with us," she added.

SIPTU divisional organiser Greg Ennis, meanwhile, argued that they will engage in talks as long as there are 'no preconditions'.

He said: "The reality is there are a number of players involved in this - the department and the [National Transport Authority] as well as Bus Éireann and the trade unions.

"If they remove those letters and those imminent threats to cut our members members terms & conditions unilaterally, then of course we will engage. Nobody wants to strike," he added.