Unions accuse Bus Éireann of trying to collapse talks

It follows the circulation of what the unions are calling a 'provocative' document - to members of staff.

Unions accuse Bus Éireann of trying to collapse talks

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Unions have criticised Bus Éireann's behaviour during talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) as they attempt to avert strike action.

Representatives from the SIPTU uniob raised concerns that the company is intent on collapsing the process following the release of a document to staff prior to its full discussion at the meeting.

SIPTU Sector Organiser said Willie Noone: "It seems Bus Éireann is looking for the breakdown of these talks by releasing a very provocative discussion document to all staff in the middle of a negotiation aimed at avoiding industrial action.

"There are issues at hand that the company obviously does not want to deal with. We will remain steadfast in our aim of having these issues addressed. We are going to put our agenda very clearly to the company."

Speaking to Newstalk earlier today, Mr Noone added that he believes the document was released maliciously.

SIPTU have officially complained to the WRC about the document.

"Russian roulette with its own staff"

General Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary said:

"It’s absolutely appalling that Management at Bus Éireann are playing Russian Roulette with its own staff and the Public Transport System, by deliberately provoking staff into bringing the entire transport system to a halt, ignoring long standing negotiating practices and issuing so-called discussion documents to the entire workforce in advance of WRC facilitated discussions, is not alone an insult to the representative Trade Unions but demonstrates yet again the lack of regard this Company has shown for the Industrial Institutions of the State.”

The WRC talks concern the ongoing dispute at Bus Éireann over attempts by the company to reduce workers’ pay and conditions of employment.

 Scheduled all-out strike action by Bus Éireann workers, which was to begin today has been suspended by workers to allow the WRC talks process to proceed.