Ross’s infamous party piece ‘I am not getting involved’ is wearing thin – Munster
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today criticised Minister Shane Ross for failing to see the bigger picture in the Bus Éireann strike, as he insisted at this afternoon’s Transport Committee that he would not get involved in an industrial dispute, ignoring the fact that Bus Éireann is on the brink of ruination, and he, as Minister and shareholder, is fiddling while Rome burns.
“The Minister is missing the point here. This is an industrial dispute that has arisen from dreadful transport policy. The Minister has tunnel vision. All he sees is strike action, whilst he ignores the very real issues of rural and urban connectivity, the economic and social benefits of public transport and the importance of the state running a first class transport network.”
Deputy Munster laid the blame for the strike squarely at the Minister’s feet.
“I am blue in the face asking the Minister to allow his Department and the NTA to become involved in talks, and he flatly refuses. This leaves him directly responsible for the current strike. It means he will also be responsible for the chaos that will come down the line if the strike spreads to the other CIÉ companies, Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann.
“Make no mistake about it. This situation is not the fault of the workers. They are not looking for a pay rise. They have done everything that was asked of them. 30% cuts to wages, involuntary redundancies, and changes to terms and conditions are steps too far. Bus Éireann workers can only take so much. It’s the Minister, and his refusal to do his job, who has led us to where we are today.”