A Bus Eireann Expressway service in Mallow Street shortly after the pickets were lifted yesterday PICTURE: MICHAEL COWHEY
BUS Eireann services have returned to Limerick’s streets after 21 days of strike action.
After the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), Siptu and the Transport Salaried Staff Association agreed to lift their three-week long picket on Thursday on foot of a series of Labour Court recommendations, Bus Eireann services began to operate on Limerick City services.
The semi-state bus provider ramped back to a full service overnight.
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.
Cllr Frankie Daly, who chairs the local authority’s transport committee, has welcomed the resumption of services.
But, he added: “It’s fantastic news, but this is something which could have been solved weeks ago. [Shane Ross’s refusal to intervene] smacks of a bully boy tactic on his part. His approach has been disgraceful. But on a positive note, i’m glad buses have returned to help people travelling to hospital, Shannon Airport and other places.”
While buses are back on the road, the strike is only suspended while the unions prepare to ballot their members on a series of non-binding recommendations from the Labour Court.
It’s proposing 200 staff be made redundant, as well as pay cuts for higher earners and reforms of work practices.
Unions said members will vote on the proposals and the result will be known in a number of weeks.
Dermot O’Leary, the general secretary of the NBRU, said: “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."