All-out national strike at Bus Éireann could begin next Monday.Management at the national transport company are meeting today to discuss pushing ahead with €12m in cost-cutting proposals.
It comes after talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) between the company and unions broke down last week.
Bus Éireann board members have scheduled a meeting for noon today, after which it is understood staff will be notified about what happens next.
The most likely outcome is that workers will be told the cuts are going ahead from March 6.
This would result in workers immediately notifying the company of their intention to begin strike action on that date.
Strike action would be especially hard for Sligo commuters as rail services would also be affected.
Sligo is one of six depots nationally where Irish rail and Bus Éireann share facilities. Irish Rail workers would not cross the picket line and such action would also cripple the rail services to and from Sligo.Shared Depots
NBRU’s Dermot O’Leary has confirmed at the weekend that if strike action is to go ahead at Bus Éireann, the Bus and Train Depots around the country will be affected.
Other towns with shared depots are Athlone, Tralee, Limerick, Waterford and Galway. Sligo Today understands that private bus companies are on standby to offer stranded Sligo rail passengers a transfer service to and from Collooney, Ballymote and Boyle stations.
Existing Sligo-Dublin private companies are also expected to increase their services to cope with the expected demand to and from Dublin City and Airport.
Rail passengers are expected to be offered a bus transfer service to Collooney, (pictured),
Ballymote and Boyle stations.
Last week, Siptu told its members to get ready for a "hard battle and struggle" during an all-out strike. See link below.
In a 'strike notice update', it warned industrial action is unlikely to end "in the short term".
Preparations for the strike have already begun, with banners and placards distributed over the weekend to garages and union regional offices around the country.
It is understood that the company has red-circled 120 jobs to go - 60 managerial, executive and clerical roles, 40 engineering and maintenance positions, and 20 inspectors - although it is unclear how many drivers will be affected.
Transport Minister Shane Ross has said he will not get involved in the dispute.
He said calls for him to intervene were an attempt to force him "to produce the chequebook".
"It would be wrong for a minister to become involved in an industrial dispute and I intend to stay out of the industrial dispute as long as it goes on," he said.
Link : Sligo Today 25/2/2017