SIPTU members working as bus drivers for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are to ballot for strike action following a threat to privatise 10% of routes without the agreement of workers. SIPTU Utilities and Construction Division Organiser, Owen Reidy, said: “Our members have been left with no option but to ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action. This follows a threat to privatise routes without the agreement of our members or assurances from the two bus companies concerning the security of workers' terms and conditions of employment. “It was the issuing of this threat, by representatives of the National Transport Authority (NTA), which led to the breakdown of talks yesterday at the Labour Relations Commission. The talks, which involved the transport unions, the NTA, CIE and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, were aimed at finding agreement on a number of key issues for workers if the privatisation plans were to proceed. “However, the NTA refused to adequately respond to concerns raised by our members in relation to how the transfer of undertakings and legacy costs will be dealt with if routes are privatised. When confronted over its intransigence the NTA representatives threatened to implement its plans without agreement.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, Willie Noone, said: “At a meeting of the SIPTU Bus Anti-Privatisation Committee today (Tuesday, 31st March), which includes union activists from Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, it was decided to ballot all bus drivers for industrial action, up to and including strike action. “This dispute relates directly to the two companies’ failure to guarantee the tenure and security of employment of our members.” He added: “It was also decided to consult with our members in other grades within the two bus companies and Irish Rail, as well as workers in other trade unions, with a view to jointly deciding on what solidarity actions they will take to support their colleagues.” The ballot of SIPTU members will begin on Tuesday, 7th April and conclude on Friday, 10th April.