Munster welcomes resumption of talks at the WRC
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today welcomed the resumption of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission between Bus Éireann and unions, albeit after 13 days on the picket line for workers and 13 days of disruption for the travelling public.
Deputy Munster said:
“These talks are about more than just an industrial dispute; there is a much more at stake here. A whole discussion has to take place around the protection and funding of our public transport network into the future.
“If the discussions at the WRC do not reach agreement, Minister Shane Ross must allow the Department of Transport, the NTA, the unions, and Bus Éireann management, as stakeholders, to develop these discussions further.
“Minister Ross will not be allowed off the hook by putting the perception out there that this matter is strictly an industrial relations issue. He was repeatedly asked to facilitate talks between stakeholders, for 6 months prior to the beginning of strike action 13 days ago, and he has repeatedly refused.
“This is the third round of discussions at the WRC and it is clear that the missing links are the other stakeholders who are, and should be, directly involved. If Minister Ross thinks he can continue to revert the matter to the WRC, whilst ignoring the wider issues of underfunding of subvention, an increase required on the Free Travel Pass subsidy, and the oversaturation of route, he is fooling nobody.
“Minister Ross and his Department need to stop playing games with the travelling public and the workers and tackle the real causes of this financial crisis at Bus Éireann.”