Bus Éireann accused following provocative letter

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Bus Éireann have been accused by unions of trying to collapse today’s talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) following a letter sent to members of staff.

The letter proposed that acting CEO Ray Hernan wants to reduce the cost base by 30m by cutting three routes, alongside payroll costs accounting for 40% of that reduction. The Irish Independent reported that the routes include the X87 Dublin to Clonmel, the 021 Athlone to Westport and the 833 Dublin to Derry – which has been recommended by management for closure.

Workers postponed strike action planned for today to allow for two days of negotiations but have warned that if the cuts go ahead, there will be an indefinite strike as of Monday February 20.

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) released a statement advising members that the talks had gone ahead, but that the cuts had caused the NRBU to consider rapidly exiting the negotiations.

It read: “The NBRU have made it abundantly clear to Mr Hernan and Co that we will not allow him to move Bus Éireann to becoming a mirror of those private operators that treat their staff abysmally, in fact we were stronger in our choice of language in stating that we found the notion that such a move was nothing short of contemptible. The figure of €30 million, we now know was designed to achieve that very thing.”