Around 2,600 Bus Éireann staff began an indefinite strike against the state-owned company’s plans to cut pay and services on 24 March, leaving large parts of the Republic of Ireland with reduced or no public transport.
Other than schoolbus services, all other routes have been suspended, prompting Ulsterbus to duplicate journeys on joint coach services between Belfast and Dublin and to use double-deckers between Derry and Dublin.
Secondary picketing disrupted the CIÉ group’s rail services on 31 March in an escalation of the dispute, which Bus Éireann says is costing it €500,000 (£427,000) a day and could accelerate its collapse into insolvency.
Fresh talks to try to end the dispute began on 5 April as we closed for press, but National Bus & Rail Union general secretary Dermot O’Leary said he was not optimistic of a breakthrough.
Neither NBRU nor the Sitpu union was prepared to lift pickets during the negotiation.
■ The Unite union and Oxford Bus Company have settled their dispute over 2016/17 pay negotiations and Christmas holiday pay, which led to two days of strikes in early March (Buses last month).