Statement in respect of proposed industrial action at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann

28th April, 2015

“The National Transport Authority (NTA) delivers bus services under direct award contracts with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.  In late 2013 they decided to tender 10% of these services, to be phased in from late 2016.  This is in line with the Government’s intention for the NTA to procure services through a combination of direct award and tendering in the best interests of quality, integrated public transport to serve the needs of the travelling public.


“In commenting on the threatened industrial action by bus drivers against their employers I have repeatedly said that few, if any, of the current employees in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann were likely to be expected to transfer, should their company be unsuccessful in securing the contracts for the routes being tendered.  Both companies need additional drivers over the next two years because of growth on the routes that they continue to operate as we address congestion and public transport needs.  In fact, Dublin Bus recruited 170 drivers last year.


“I am now confirming, following detailed discussions with the bus companies around this market growth, that the companies are willing to give a commitment that no driver currently employed will be required to transfer to another operator, unless he or she wishes to do so.  The two companies are immediately available to meet the unions concerned under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission so that this commitment can be formalised and a process agreed to deal with any implementation issues which may arise from it in the event that either company does not secure the contracts.
“This commitment would mean that there is absolutely no threat to the security of tenure or the terms and conditions of the current members of SIPTU or the NBRU arising from the tender process.  There is therefore no basis for industrial action by either union against the companies.


“The other issues which the NBRU and SIPTU have referred to as a justification for the threatened strikes relate to government policies and legislation.  As the bus companies have no control over these, strike action which would damage the companies and inconvenience their customers cannot be justified.


“It is therefore in the best interests of everyone that the commitment that the companies are prepared to make is used as the basis for constructive engagement at the LRC and the threatened strike action is immediately called off.”