Friday 21 October 2016

Hundreds of leaflets distributed on Dublin Bus telling 'drivers' side of the story'

Amy Molloy

Published 14/09/2016 | 10:25

Leaflets distributed on Dublin buses on Wednesday morning
Leaflets distributed on Dublin buses on Wednesday morning

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) left hundreds of leaflets on Dublin Buses reporting on the “drivers' side of the story” ahead of the second 48-hour strike.

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The leaflets, distributed on buses on Wednesday morning, contained a mock conversation about the dispute between a Dublin Bus driver and his neighbour 'Joe Soap'.

The conversation, entitled “NBRU News”, contained a number of criticisms of Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

The dialogue read:

“J.S. What has he [Shane Ross] done?

B.D. The NBRU sent him a comprehensive document on the 10th June, outlining exactly what would happen at Dublin Bus if workers issues were not satisfactorily addressed.

J.S. What has the Minister done since he was sent the document?

B.D. Well, he’s been to France for the Euros (he’s also Minister for Sport), he’s been to Rio for the Olympics where among other official duties he had a chat with Pat Hickey.

J.S. Anything else of note?

B.D. Well, he was on the Late Late Show where he described his transport brief as being a doddle.”

The leaflets also outline the grounds for the dispute and how bus drivers want to receive pay parity with Luas drivers, who earlier this year received pay rises of up to 18.3pc.

Shane Ross isn’t the only character discussed in the conversation, with the National Transport Authority also coming under scrutiny.

“J.S. Okay, surely they can help with this dispute?

B.D. You would have thought so, but alas, nothing from them, well nothing positive at least.

J.S. That’s a bit vague, can you explain?

B.D. The only role the NTA Have played so far in this dispute is one of negativity, in fact at the end of 2015 they took €2m from Dublin Bus because they, Dublin Bus were allegedly making too much profit. Which is a bit like agreeing to pay a builder €1000 to build a wall only to pay him €900 after he’s finished.”

References are also made to the fact bus drivers have not received a pay rise in eight years and how €1.6 billion has been spent on Luas infrastructure.

General Secretary for the NBRU Dermot O’Leary explained the idea behind the leaflets to

“One of the drivers decided he is dealing with commuters on a regular basis, so he wanted to tell the story as if it was a conversation with one of his passengers.

“The lads themselves feel there are a lot of people involved in this behind the scenes who aren’t playing their part, such as the National Transport Authority. They wanted to bring that to people's attention. The drivers feel that while their story is being told, it’s not being told properly.”

Dublin Bus workers went on strike for two days last week in a dispute over pay and will do so again this Thursday and Friday, with further stoppages on 23 and 24 September.

The company released a statement confirming services will stop at 9pm tonight "to ensure the safe and secure return of buses to each depot prior to the commencement of industrial action by all employees at midnight that night".

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