Bus Éireann depot in Dundalk faces closure after union votes to accept Labour Court recommendations

Bus Éireann depot in Dundalk faces closure after union votes to accept Labour Court recommendations

The Bus Éireann maintenance garage on the Ardee Road in Dundalk looks set to close after staff from the bus company’s largest union the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) yesterday voted to accept Labour Court recommendations aimed at resolving the long-running dispute at the company.

Three weeks of strike action in March and April were suspended after the Labour Court tabled settlement proposals last month.

The 17-page Labour Court recommendation includes proposals for cuts of 10% to earnings over €60,000, 200 job losses, freezes on increments and, most importantly from a local perspective, the closure of the Dundalk maintenance garage.

NBRU members yesterday accepted the recommendations with a vote of 67% in favour.

Workers at the company who are represented by SIPTU and the Unite trade unions had already accepted the Labour Court recommendation meaning the dispute is now likely to be resolved with the closure of the Ardee Road depot expected in the coming weeks.

Talk of the Town revealed last month how the site has already been earmarked for possible housing development by the Department of Housing.

Bus Éireann yesterday welcomed the NBRU’s decision to accept the recommendations.

The company said the “endorsement significantly enhances the prospects for the company and all of the customers and staff who rely on our services throughout the country”.

A statement continued: “We now look forward to proactively engaging with our staff to implement the Labour Court recommendation.

“This will help us address the critical financial position and achieve significant and necessary improvements in efficiencies.

“Acceptance of this recommendation now also provides a basis to enable us to develop a viable business plan, which can be presented to our Board for approval who are due to meet on the 29th May.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross welcomed the result of the ballot, saying that “management and employees can now move on with building a successful and sustainable future for Bus Éireann.”

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