A wildcat strike of bus workers brought transport to a standstill across the west of Ireland today (Friday 4th April).
Twenty-five workers at the Bus Eirann bus company awaiting the implementation of a new pay deal took part in the stoppage as part of an ongoing dispute. The union, SIPTU, did not support the action, however, as it is still in negotiations at the Labour Relations Commission and urged the striking workers to go back to work.
The action was taken by part-time drivers who are demanding higher wages. They currently earn €11.66/hour and receive no pension, sick pay or overtime rates. They are seeking parity with other Bus Eireann drivers who receive between €13.15 and €15.23/hour. With part-time staff often used to undercut destabilise the conditions of full-time workers, such parity could be crucial in building solidarity amongst Bus Eirann drivers.
Workers said the strike was necessary and they were waiting for negotiations to come to a conclusion.
Areas across the west of Ireland were affected including Co Clare, Portumna and Gort in south Galway, Borrisokane, Nenagh and Roscrea in Tipperary and Hospital and Doon in Limerick by the strike which is said to have lasted approximately an hour and fifteen minutes.