All sides to Bus Éireann dispute must return to negotiation table – Cullinane
Speaking as staff at Bus Éireann began industrial action today Sinn Féin Workers’ Rights spokesperson David Cullinane called on all sides to the dispute to return to the negotiations table urgently.
Senator Cullinane said;
“Sinn Féin is calling on all sides in the Bus Éireann
dispute to return to negotiation as a matter of urgency.
“While there is a need to ensure the ongoing viability of Bus Éireann, we are also very conscious of the fact that many of those employed by Bus Éireann are low to middle income workers, who have already taken significant hits to their income, and cannot afford to take further cuts. In that context, it is perfectly understandable that they would refuse to accept these paycuts.
“We do not believe that these workers would take the decision to strike at all lightly, however the NBRU believes that some drivers could lose between €3,000 and €4,000 a year if these pay cuts go ahead, which is a very significant sum of money for low to middle income earners, and that is not acceptable.
“The Company has shown a lack of leadership and a lack of vision for how to restructure Bus Éireann in a long term and measured way that safeguards services, and the pay of ordinary workers. There are very likely savings to be found within the company however any savings from the pay bill should come from the higher end of the pay scale.
“The difficulties facing Bus Éireann were not caused by the wages of its ordinary employees, and it will not be resolved by cutting their wages either.
“The government also needs to take responsibility for this situation. It has consistently under-funded public transport, and this has led to reductions in services, and this current move by the company to hit ordinary workers.
“The priority is to ensure that the wages of ordinary workers are protected, and that Bus Éireann continues to provide services to communities all over Ireland. The best way to ensure that is to resolve this dispute and ensure that services are resumed as soon as is possible.
“We believe that it is possible to find agreement on this matter, and are calling on all involved to return to negotiations, and to seek to find a practical resolution that is acceptable to both the company and the unions.”