Minister Ross needs to engage with all stakeholders to solve Bus Éireann crisis – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions this afternoon in relation to the ongoing crisis at Bus Éireann, has said that Minster for Transport Shane Ross must engage with all stakeholders, including the Department of Transport, the National Transport Authority, Bus Éireann, and trade unions to find a resolution to issues at the company.
In relation uncertainty surrounding the Fine Gael leadership, he said ‘outside of Fine Gael most people don’t care. What they care about is the crisis in health, the housing and homelessness emergency and the approach of Brexit.’
Teachta Adams said:
“In October 2015, as the Taoiseach extorted people to ‘keep the recovery going’ he warned us, and I quote: ‘We are facing a fork in the road. One track points to continued stability and certainty... along the other track lies instability and chaos.’
“Unfortunately for the citizens of this State and the island, the Taoiseach stayed on the wrong track, and now the Taoiseach and his Ministerial colleagues have brought chaos to their own party.
“He and others obsess about who will lead Fine Gael, and by grace of Fianna Fáil’s indulgence, who will lead the government and when; the brightest and best jockey for position on WhatsApp and in the media.
“Outside of their own ranks, most people don’t care. What they care about is the crisis in health, the housing and homelessness emergency and the approach of Brexit.
“The Government appears oblivious to all this, as it meander aimlessly along the wrong track.
“In September, Minister Ross briefed the Cabinet that Bus Éireann was at crisis point. Six months earlier, the National Bus and Rail Union voted in favour of precautionary industrial action amid justifiable fears for workers terms and conditions.
“What did the Minister for Transport do? He did nothing.
“Last month, Bus Éireann announced proposed measures that threaten the rights of bus workers, including cutting overtime and Sunday rates, as well as pay increments.
“Yesterday, it was reported that the company plans to cut a number of routes, including the Dublin to Clonmel and Dublin to Derry services, as well as reducing frequency on a number of others.
“The Taoiseach should know that a huge amount of people, particularly in rural Ireland, rely on Bus Éireann services. People have the right to a public bus service and the Government’s priority should be to create that service, not destroy it.
“So I urge the Taoiseach to get off the chaos carousel and get on the right track just for a minute, and ask Minster Ross to do what he should have done months ago, and engage with all of the stakeholders, including the Department of Transport, the NTA, Bus Éireann and the unions, to find a resolution to the issues.”