May 22, 2017, 12:29 p.m.
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WORKERS FROM THE National Bus and Rail Union have voted to accept the Labour Court recommendations aimed at ending the Bus Éireann dispute.Union members accepted the recommendations with a vote of 67% in favour.Their acceptance means that no further strike action is likely at the service in the near-future.Commenting on today’s ballot, NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary said that workers remained “prepared to engage in further in industrial action” if the company “forces change on our members”.“The acceptance of the Labour Court is just the beginning of the process to repair a company that has been damaged by Government policy,” said O’Leary.Problems at the State-run transport service – which has been incurring serious losses – boiled over earlier this year, culminating in three weeks of strikes which shut down public travel in much of the country.The other principal unions involved in the dispute – Siptu and Unite – had already voted earlier this month to accept the Labour Court recommendations.Siptu workers voted by a close margin (53.4% to 46.6%) in favour of the recommendations, with 87% of members voting.Bus Éireann has been in turmoil in recent months as company management desperately tried to shore up company losses. Management warned earlier that the organisation could be insolvent by the summer.A stakeholder forum is due to be scheduled in order to address the issues that arose during the industrial dispute.O’Leary said he had written to Transport Minister Shane Ross requesting to meet to discuss the establishing of the Forum.