Translink bus strike suspended after last ditch management offer

The planned Translink bus strike has been suspended tomorrow in light of developments at last ditch talks, trade unions have reported.

By Philip Bradfield
Monday, 16th May 2022, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 6:14 pm

The GMB union said this afternoon that as a gesture of goodwill, industrial action has been suspended until workers have voted on a pay new offer.

All Translink bus services, including including Translink, Ulsterbus, Metro, Goldline and Glider services strike, had been due to be suspended from 17-23 May.

Drivers, cleaners and shunters across Northern Ireland had been due to walk out for seven days in mass strike that would “bring Northern Ireland to a standstill” the union said.

A Translink Metro bus pictured in Belfast City centre, as bus drivers from two trade unions suspend strike action in light of a new pay offer.

But GMB said management today made a revised pay deal – and that as a result industrial action has been suspended while GMB and Unite members vote on the offer.

Peter Macklin, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “After last ditch talks, Translink workers now have a revised pay offer. As a gesture of goodwill, industrial action has been suspended until workers have voted on the new offer. “If they accept it, the strikes would be cancelled completely.

“But if they turn it down, GMB will meet with members immediately to discuss new strike dates.”

Davy Thompson, Unite Deputy Regional Secretary, confirmed the move among his members too.

“Following talks the company have put forward a revised and improved offer so the action will be suspended pending a new ballot,” he said.

Translink said it was pleased to have reached an agreement. A spokesperson said: “Following a meeting with the Union officials today, we have structured a revised offer that acknowledges their concerns over increasing inflation and the cost of living while also supporting wider business needs.

“We welcome this constructive engagement with our unions. Preventing this industrial action has been of the utmost priority for the company. We are pleased to have found a way forward that will enable us to build back public transport for a more sustainable and better future for all”.

All Translink bus services including school buses will operate as normal from Tuesday 17th May and for the rest of the week.

Robbie McGreevy, EA Assistant Director of Corporate HR and Business Planning, welcomed the announcement, which he said “will ensure the school transport network continues to operate fully for pupils across Northern Ireland”.