Dublin Bus strike: Notice served of 13 extra days of industrial action

Dublin Bus has said it expects its services to operate as normal on Saturday morning Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Dublin Bus has said the escalation of industrial action is 'unjustified'

Trade unions have served notice of an extra 13 days of strikes by Dublin Bus workers between now and the end of October.

Thursday was the third day of strike action with an estimated 400,000 commuters affected.

The new dates are in addition to Friday's strike and another two-day stoppage set for 23 and 24 September.

Dublin Bus has said the escalation of industrial action is "unnecessary and unjustified".

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reports that the new dates for industrial action are Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 September, Saturday 1 October, Wednesday 5 October, Friday 7 October, Monday 10 October, Wednesday 12 October, Friday 14 October, Tuesday 18 October, Wednesday 19 October, Monday 24 October, Wednesday 26 October and Saturday 29 October.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Bus lanes remain closed to private cars

Dublin Bus had urged staff to attend the Workplace Relations Commission for negotiations but stressed that it could not exceed the three-year 8.25% pay deal, with no productivity, awarded by the Labour Court.

It said it was prepared to discuss further increases based on productivity.

Unions are demanding a basic increase of 15% over three years before they will discuss productivity, and object to what they call preconditions.

The Republic's Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said his department will not fund pay hikes.

Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTÉ on Wednesday, Mr Ross said: "It's not a matter for the minister for transport and we are not going to produce the government's - the taxpayer's - chequebook to sort this problem.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The new dates are in addition to Friday's strike and another two-day stoppage in September

"It will be sorted between the unions and the management and we're not going to be a soft touch for either management or unions."

Dublin Bus has said each day of the strike costs the company in excess of €600,000 (£510,081).

Meanwhile, the director of policy and advocacy at the National Council for the Blind has said people with disabilities are being seriously affected by the strike.

Elaine Howley told RTÉ many people are being forced to take annual leave because they cannot get to work, while others will be unable to leave their homes.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Dublin Bus employees previously told Irish broadcaster RTÉ they did not want to be on strike but felt they needed more than the offer on the table

"We did a survey recently and 91% of people surveyed depend on the bus for their daily activity so it's very inconvenient to say the least," she said.

Police have said bus lanes are only for use by taxis, emergency vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists while the strike is on.

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