Dublin traders are losing four million euro as a result of the capital's bus strike, it has been claimed.
More than 400,000 commuters are being disrupted as the industrial action by workers at the publicly-owned Dublin Bus entered a third day.
Avine McNally, of the Small Firms Association (SFA), said the strike was creating misery for businesses as shoppers stay at home and employees turn up late for work.
"The strike is creating misery for commuters whose aim is to get to work in order to earn a living," she said. "Businesses are facing yet more days of disruption as employees are late arriving for work and may have to depart early.
"While employees are making great efforts in attending work, there is still time lost and the overall cost in terms of days lost is difficult to assess, but the SFA estimate if employees in Dublin lost just 30 minutes today the result is 53,431 days lost, a lost productivity cost of just over 4 million euro."
The SFA urged both sides in the row to talk to each other through the Labour Relations Commission. Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly backed calls for negotiations before the State industrial relations broker. "I'm aware of the issues between the unions and management and they are not insurmountable and can be solved," he added.
Dublin Bus has apologised to customers after all services were cancelled until further notice due to the industrial action.
The dispute, which has grounded 920 buses on 120 routes, centres on 11.7 million euro worth of cost-saving measures. Union bosses have warned the fall-out could escalate as members in Irish Rail are "dissatisfied" with how bus driver colleagues are being treated by the company.
Driver representatives, opposition parties and business groups have called on Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene. The cuts were drafted up following a series of recommendations from the Labour Court and include 7.7 million euro from direct payroll costs.
Transport Minister Leo Varadakar said industrial relations trouble-shooters are willing to intervene once all sides are prepared to cut a deal and not just talk.