Government and Bus Éireann Management are directly responsible for bus strike – Munster
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today spoken out in support of Bus Éireann workers who commenced strike action at midnight last night, saying that “workers didn't create this financial crisis. Bad policy and poor management created this crisis.”
Deputy Munster said:
“Public transport is a service just like education and health. This was never about industrial relations or industrial relations dispute. The workers didn't create this financial crisis. Bad policy and poor management created this crisis.”
She also spoke of the policy decisions made by Government which are the cause of the financial crisis in Bus Éireann, and the government’s privatisation agenda.
“Our public transport network faces issues such as the lowest subvention in Europe, the over-saturation of routes caused by issuing of licences to private operators resulting in loss making for our public network, and gross under funding of the Free Travel Pass by the Department of Social Protection all directly contributed to this financial crisis.
“It is abundantly clear that it is now firm government policy to outsource and privatise our public transport network along with a policy of a race to the bottom for workers’ rights, pay and conditions.
“Unions and workers have for months called on Minister Shane Ross to engage with all the stakeholders including the Department of Transport, the National Transport Authority, Bus Éireann management and the unions, and he and the Government have repeatedly refused to engage.
“If this Government get away with their plans, we will see a decimation of routes both rural and urban in our public transport network. The Minister needs to accept that this disruption in our public transport is a result of his inaction. He needs to get all the stakeholders around the table to find a resolution.”