WRC talks collapse amidst concerns of outside interference – Munster
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today expressed disappointment that talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) between unions and Bus Éireann management have not been successful in reaching agreement which would bring an end to the ongoing bus strike.
“It comes as a great disappointment to everyone to hear that the WRC talks broke down without agreement last night. We are now on day 19 of the strike, and it has been a very difficult 19 days for striking workers and for the travelling public.
“I am happy to see that the matter is being dealt with in such a speedy matter by the Labour Court, and I am hopeful that a resolution to the dispute may come from today’s hearing.”
Deputy Munster also expressed concerns about issues raised by union representatives regarding the use of consultants or possible influence from stakeholders who have refused to officially engage in the talks at the WRC, saying:
“Union members have been quoted in the media expressing dissatisfaction with the presence of ‘outside consultants’, and there has been speculation that there may have been interference from stakeholders who to date have steadfastly refused to engage in talks, and indeed have refused to acknowledge that they have a role to play in this dispute and in working to find a resolution to the dispute. If this is the case, it is of major concern. Outside influence from parties who are not willing to step up to the plate and take part in talks is completely unwelcome.
“There have been reports that €18million worth of efficiencies were identified during talks, and so the questions must be asked why Bus Éireann management was not happy with that, or who was influencing the decision to reject the deal that was being formulated during this round of talks.
“The objective is to secure the future of Bus Éireann and if the Government is not interested in securing the future of our national carrier, they need to state that publicly.”