BUS drivers in Limerick are to return to work after 21 days of strike action, with services in the city expected to resume tomorrow morning.
The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), which along with Siptu and the Transport Salaried Staff Association has had members on strike in a row over proposed cuts to pay, has confirmed in a statement a short time ago that it would suspend the industrial action.
This comes on foot of a recommendation from the Labour Court.
Dermot O’Leary, the general secretary of the NBRU, said: “Our members will now return to work after 21 days on strike, they have shown tremendous dignity throughout what has been an extremely difficult dispute, for that they are to be commended, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank members of the travelling public for their massive support and understanding through what has been a difficult time for them in having to make alternative travel arrangements for their daily commute."
It’s likely there will be an operational delay in getting buses back on the road, but it is now anticipated services will be back in time for the Easter weekend.
All the unions involved had pledged they would suspend the industrial action while they ballot their members on the Labour Court recommendation.
Here in Limerick, Bus Eireann runs seven regular services covering the city and its surrounds, as well as other irregular services covering rural Co Limerick.
On top of this, there are twice hourly services to Shannon Airport, which up to now had been inaccessible by public transport.
Expressway services will also return on the corridors to Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford, and a number of other locations.
Talks went to the Labour Court after negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission had been unsuccessful. The company said that progress had been made on some issues, but an overall deal not reached.
General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said of the Labour Court recommendation: “It is quite obvious, just from a cursory glance, that our contention that major cultural change is imminent has been borne out by this recommendation, we will now move immediately into a consultative phase with our members across Bus Éireann in order that they will be fully informed in advance of casting their ballot on the fundamental issues contained in the recommendation."