SLIGO FACES a full shutdown of public transport services within seven days.
all-out national bus strike seems certain after a package cutting
overtime and services was confirmed by the Board of Bus Éireann
Pickets will be placed on bus depots nationwide, it was confirmed last night.
However, Sligo rail station is situated side by side with the bus terminus and seems likely to be dragged into the strike, too.
Both unions representing Bus Éireann workers will be involved in the national strike, SIPTU and NBRU.
Six One main television heard Sligo named last night as one of a number
of national centres where rail services may be hit by the bus strike.
Noone, SIPTU's Transport Sector Organiser, emphasised that Irish Rail
workers nationwide were NOT in dispute with their company.
However, he warned that workers there ''feel next in line for Draconian cuts.
''They do not feel it is within their moral compass to pass those pickets.
cannot force our members to go into work if they cannot feel it
genuinely within their hearts to pass those pickets,'' said Mr No one of
The co-located bus and train depots include Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Athlone, Waterford.
A Catch-22 for rail workers who do not pass pickets is they would have pay docked while not entitled to strike pay from unions.
An all-out strike next week would also halt daily services to Rosses Point and Strandhill.
which operate every half hour in the town centre and serve three
supermarket multiples on Sligo's east side would also be hit.
Bus Éireann services stopping in other Sligo towns across the county would also be wiped out in the strike.
Talks between management of Bus Éireann and its unions collapsed seven days ago and no new meetings are planned.
Expressway destinations, which include the '64' route between Galway and Derry via Sligo, will be halted in next week's strike.
The '64' serves passengers into the Ireland West international airport at Knock.
Other Sligo services to the University at Maynooth and Dublin Airport now also face shutdown in a strike.
Bus Éireann negotiators had told unions last week that the company would be insolvent by May unless the cuts are rolled out.
Yesterday, the company announced closure dates for three services in Westport, Derry and Clonmel.
Services on two other routes, to Limerick and Galway, would be partially cut, it added.
Bus Éireann's Acting Chief Executive Ray Hernan has warned a €30m cost-cutting plan is needed before the end of March.
The CEO said the cuts announced yesterday would bring ''immediate savings -- they will delay insolvency but not solve it.''
Mr Hernan has rebutted union claims he is trying to create a 'low wage' company.