Translink has confirmed that no bus services will operate next week in Fermanagh if strike action goes ahead.

This will mean that no public transport will be available for the majority of Fermanagh, including school children sitting exams who use the Translink service.

In a statement to The Impartial Reporter, a Translink spokesperson confirmed the impact on services and said: “All train services will continue to operate as normal however, no Translink bus services – Ulsterbus, Goldliner, Metro or Glider, will be running if this action goes ahead."

The GMB Union confirmed their intention to strike in a statement on Monday and said: “The Translink bus strike is back on after GMB members turned down a revised pay offer on May 9, 2022.

“Drivers, cleaners and shunters across the company will walk out for seven days from May 17 to 23, causing the entire bus network to grind to a halt.

“Unions submitted a pay claim of six per cent to help the bus drivers, cleaners and shunters cope with rampant inflation of nine per cent.”

Peter Macklin, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “Translink bus workers have today once again shown their anger and frustration with the company.

"They were proud to carry out their duty during the pandemic - despite potentially putting themselves and their families lives at risk.

“Now they need some help to tackle the crushing cost of living crisis they face – but bosses aren’t listening.

“The dispute, which affects bus drivers, cleaners and shunters will close the entire bus network within Northern Ireland. It will be a complete shutdown.”

A Translink spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to learn that Unite and GMB Bus Driver Trade Unions voted to take unprecedented industrial action from May 17 to May 23.

“Following extensive negotiations, we made a further substantial offer for 2021, including an enhanced package of conditions, that we believe is fair and reasonable.

“At this stage, having exhausted all options, we will start to take the difficult decisions in preparing for the impact of the strike action. However, we remain committed to working with the unions to avert this action.

“We have reached out and would welcome the opportunity to engage with unions to cover school duties, so that the wellbeing of schoolchildren can remain a priority, particularly as many enter the exam period.”

Any changes to services will be communicated by Translink, the spokesperson concluded: ““We will communicate relevant passenger information through the media, on our website, through social media, in stations and on buses and trains.

“Translink apologise for any inconvenience this may cause”.