Bus Éireann postpones decision on pay cuts

Unions have warned they will immediately engage in strike action if the company unilaterally introduces €12m in cuts to workers earnings

Bus Éireann is expected to outline in the coming days whether it will press ahead with unilateral cuts to employee pay.

Customers are facing the prospect of travel chaos should unions engage in an all-out strike in response to the proposals.

Talks between unions and Bus Éireann management collapsed at the Workplace Relations Commission yesterday.

On Monday, the company released a discussion document in which it said its financial situation is worsening with losses for 2016 now estimated at €9.4m.

Unions have put their members on notice that they will immediately engage in strike action if the company moves forward with plans to introduce €12m cuts to workers earnings.

They have also warned that the strike action could spread to other parts of the State’s public transport sector.

Bus Éireann management has insisted the company will be insolvent by May unless the cuts are introduced.

Management - along with the board of the company - have been meeting today to discuss the situation.

The company’s dire financial situation stems from its loss making Expressway service - which provides connectivity to number of rural communities around the country.

Enda Kenny has insisted in the Dáil that even if Bus Éireann expressway services are cut, the National Transport Authority will step in to 'ensure connectivity'.

However, he said the dispute can only be resolved in one way:

“I would exhort at this point, from this floor, union and management to sit down again and take the issue that is the nub of this problem which is the commercial end of Bus Éireann Expressway that is not viable at the moment and work out a solution in the interests of everybody - the travelling public, the drivers and the company itself and that opportunity is there today again,” he said.