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The public suffer the consequences of Minister’s inaction on bus strike – Munster

28 March, 2017 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD today criticised the inaction of the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross TD regarding the ongoing crisis at Bus Éireann.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Transport, Deputy Munster has again called on Minister Ross to take his position as Minister seriously and to recognise that the current crisis is much more than an industrial dispute.

Deputy Munster said:

“This is about the future of public transport in this state. It is totally disingenuous of the Minister to act as though he doesn’t understand that.

“Tens of thousands of citizens have been left in the lurch since last Friday, and now we hear that the members of the other CIÉ companies, Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann, are balloting for industrial action.

“Bus workers don’t enjoy this. None of them want to go on strike. The Minister needs to understand the very real fears of workers that the entire CIÉ group is going to be subjected to the same treatment as the Bus Éireann workers, that is a race to the bottom, cuts to rural transport services, and ultimately, privatisation.

“This is government policy; to decimate our public transport network and groom it for privatisation. Transport is a public service, just like health and education are.

“I am asking the Minister, for the umpteenth time, to do his job and facilitate talks between all stakeholders to find a solution here. That means unions, Bus Éireann management, the National Transport Authority, and the Department of Transport.

“He has been burying his head in the sand for too long. Ordinary members of the travelling public are suffering because of his inaction. It’s time he stood up to the plate and did his job.” 

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