Dublin Bus drivers from the NBRU have voted by a large majority in favour of striking, in relation to cuts in overtime due to the adoption of the EU Working Time Directives.
The EU law puts a restriction on working time, limiting workers to working a total of 48 hours. Due to the huge amount of overtime done by drivers for Dublin Bus, this is a major issue for drivers for the company. In the normal course of events, as much as 20% of the workforce do regular overtime, beyond the proposed 48 hours. This means that these drivers will face a de-facto salary cut when the new rules begin to be enforced.
While it might seem simple enough to people who do not work overtime on a regular basis, working beyond normal hours has been part of the working culture in Dublin Bus for many years. The NBRU have issued a statement pointing out that is that many of their members are dependent on overtime pay to meet their basic needs and that many of them have had to obtain mortgages based on their gross earnings in order to afford a home and that they simply cannot manage on less.
For it’s part Dublin Bus points at that it is mearly implementing the law of the land, and it is not responsible for losses to the drivers for the reduction in overtime.
It is not known at present when the proposed strike action will take place. Dublin Bus intends implementing the Working Time Directives in March 2006.