Bus strike going ahead after Translink and unions fail to reach pay agreement

Trade unions representing bus drivers have failed to reach an agreement with Translink to prevent planned strike action.

By PA Reporter
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 2:37 pm

Drivers voted last week to strike over a pay offer from the public transport provider.

The action could see all Ulsterbus and Metro bus services withdrawn for one week from April 25, which would likely affect the whole country including school bus and airport services.

Translink met with officials from the Unite and GMB unions on Tuesday.

The industrial action could see all Ulsterbus and Metro bus services withdrawn for one week from April 25

In a statement after the meeting, a Translink spokesperson said it is “committed to working with the unions to avert this unprecedented industrial action”.

They have claimed the unions would not concede on providing transport for schoolchildren or for the tourism sector during the strike.

“As a priority, we asked the unions to continue to provide public transport for schoolchildren, reflecting on the wellbeing of young people as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly as we come close to exam season,” a Translink spokesman said.

“Regrettably, the unions have declined to give any commitment to providing public transport for schoolchildren during the proposed seven-day strike action.

“We will continue to discuss this issue, but parents and carers are advised to stand ready to make alternative arrangements for children that normally travel on any Translink bus service to and from school.

“We also asked the unions to provide public transport for key tourism services during the proposed seven-day strike action, reflecting on the impact to the local economy, including cross-border and local airport services, as well as the buses booked to support the international Belfast City Marathon event and services for visitors on those cruise ships due into Belfast Harbour.

“Regrettably, the unions at this point have also declined this request. Event organisers will need to make alternative arrangements if we cannot reach a resolution in the coming days.

“Translink will communicate relevant passenger information through the media, on their website www.translink.co.uk, through social media, in stations and on buses and trains.

“Translink apologises for any inconvenience this may cause”.