SOLUTIONS URGENTLY NEEDED FOR BUS ÉIREANN DISPUTE

28 February 2017

Labour Party spokesperson on Transport, Brendan Ryan TD, has urged all sides in the Bus Éireann dispute to make a concerted effort to avert planned industrial action next week.

Deputy Ryan has also called for a stakeholder forum for all those in the public transport industry, in a bid to head off future disputes.

Deputy Ryan said:

“The planned strike, due to go ahead because of cost cutting measures being imposed by Bus Éireann management without agreement, will have a massive impact on the travelling public. There is also a potential for the strike to spread, as Bus Éireann has shared depots with Dublin Bus and Irish Rail. All efforts need to be made to avert this planned action.

“We have seen over the last year in both the Luas and Dublin Bus disputes that solutions were found, but only after a strike.

"I believe a positive outcome is possible in Bus Éireann's case, but let’s hope it can happen without the need for industrial action.

"We need a shift in the mindset of transport industrial relations

"There is time now, and in the coming days for the parties to sit down around the negotiation table, without preconditions from either side, and resolve this dispute.

"This is the third major transport-related dispute in less than a year. It is clear that we need a stakeholder forum to be put in place on a standing basis to deal with the key issues giving rise to industrial unrest in the Public Transport Industry.

"As the Unions have said themselves, solutions can be looked at in the context of efficiencies.

"At a Government level, the Minister needs to commit to a plan to raise our subvention levels to European norms. There is also a role for Ministers Varadkar and Donohoe in relation to enhanced payments for the Free Travel Scheme and what can be delivered in that regard.”

“The fact is we need Bus Éireann. It is a vital transport solution for commuters, workers and students alike. We also need to ensure that the workers in Bus Éireann are employed under fair terms and conditions. Within those two absolutes there has to be a solution and I am calling on Minister Ross to facilitate an urgent dialogue to find this solution without the need for a strike”