Date Released: 20 February 2017
SIPTU representatives attending talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), today (Monday, 20th February), have 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. The WRC talks concern the ongoing dispute at Bus Éireann over attempts by the company to greatly reduce workers’ pay and conditions of employment.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Willie Noone, said: “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. SIPTU representatives remain insistent that the issues we have raised must be addressed prior to engaging with the document.
“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. There is a Labour Court recommendation that has been outstanding for the last 12 months. The failure to implement this recommendation means there is money owed to drivers. The recommendation has to be honoured so our members can recognise that the company will actually respect the State’s industrial relations institutions.
He added: “The company accepted on Friday (17th February) that our union is not going to agree with workers’ pay and conditions being driven down to the floor. These talks must proceed with the acceptance by management that SIPTU representatives are not going to assist in anyway in the creation of a low wage, low service form of public bus transport that will not meet the needs of the travelling public, particularly in rural Ireland.”
Scheduled all-out strike action by Bus Éireann workers, which was to begin today (20th February) has been suspended by workers to allow the WRC talks process to proceed.