Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Robert Troy TD has welcomed planned talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) aimed at averting strike action at Bus Éireann.

Deputy Troy emphasised that both sides in the dispute need to attend the WRC without pre-conditions to ensure a lasting deal can be secured to prevent industrial action at the semi-state company.

“The confirmation that the National Bus and Rail Union will attend the WRC to see if there is a basis for achieving a resolution is a positive development. It shows that unions and management are serious about finding a resolution to this dispute,” said Deputy Troy.

“A strike needs to be avoided in the interests of the thousands of people who rely on Bus Éireann’s services on a daily basis right across the country. A strike will not be in any party’s best interests, least of all the workers at Bus Éireann. Constructive engagement with the WRC is needed to find a basis to overcome this industrial dispute.

“It is crucial that Bus Éireann management and unions work to resolve this dispute and I welcome the fact that engagement with the WRC is underway.

“It’s disappointing that Minister for Transport Shane Ross has taken such a hands off approach to dealing with this dispute. The current problems at Bus Éireann are not the fault of workers. It’s Government policy to increase licences on Expressway routes which is putting enormous pressure on the company. The failure to increase funding for the Free Travel Scheme is compounding this problem. Minister Ross has to face up to these facts,” concluded Deputy Troy.