SIPTU Drivers employed by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are to engage in four days of strike action during May, following a refusal by the management of both companies to meet with workers to discuss their major concerns over plans to privatise 10% of bus routes. At a meeting of the SIPTU Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann joint sub committee this morning (Monday, 20th April) it was decided that the work stoppages by drivers will occur on Friday, 1st May, Saturday 2nd May, Friday, 15th May and Saturday, 16th May.SIPTU Utilities and Construction Division Organiser, Owen Reidy, said: “As a result of talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) collapsing, the SIPTU Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann joint sub committee met on 13th April. At this meeting it was decided to postpone any decision on industrial action for 10 days to facilitate meetings with both bus companies and the Department of Transport.“In correspondence received from Bus Éireann on 16th April and from Dublin Bus on the 17th April, the companies refused to agree to a meeting and merely recommended that the LRC process should be reconstituted.”He added: “It is outrageous that having taken a moderate approach to prevent industrial action by seeking direct talks with both bus companies, SIPTU has been met with such intransigence. We have had a meeting with the Department of Transport, which was useful and workmanlike, but until we meet with both bus companies it is impossible to make an assessment on the prospects of making progress in allying our members' concerns. The Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, needs to get his house in order and resolve what is a dysfunctional position taken by these companies.“SIPTU Drivers are against the privatisation of 10% of bus routes as proposed by the National Transport Authority. They believe this move will damage public transport and is unnecessary. “For more than nine months SIPTU has been seeking to have six key points, with serious consequences resulting from this proposed privatisation addressed. There has been little progress in having these legitimate concerns tackled. We regret that management has chosen not to seize the opportunity provided by SIPTU to address these issues and left our members with no option but to embark on a campaign of industrial action.”