Saturday 3 December 2016

Drivers on the pickets vow to keep up action

Robin Schiller

Published 02/05/2015 | 02:30

Heavy traffic on the N3.
Heavy traffic on the N3.

Striking drivers vowed to stay off the roads for all of the threatened seven days if their concerns over the privatisation of some routes aren't addressed to the satisfaction of their union.

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They claimed the majority of passengers supported them in their action.

Dawn Moir who has been a Dublin Bus driver for 15 years is a Siptu member.

When asked if she would picket for the seven days, she replied: "Absolutely".

She said: "I'm with the union 100pc ... whatever happens, happens. Totally against privatisation."

Her colleague Catherine Byrne is a member of the other striking union, the NBRU.

"It didn't have to come to this nobody wants to be on strike but we have to stand up for our terms and conditions," she said.

At Dublin Bus's Ringsend depot yesterday cars beeped their horns in support of the picketing drivers.

Siptu shop steward and president of the Dublin Bus Drivers Committee Stephen Hannan said that they "deeply regretted" impacting the public with the strike.

"No one wants to go on strike, he said. "There are people here with mortgages and bills to pay, and the last thing they want to do is have a strike.

"Everyone regrets the inconvenience to the public; it's absolutely horrible.

"A lot of drivers on certain routes know people by their first name.

"It's not nice for the drivers either."

But Mr Hannan also confirmed that it was now likely that further strikes would go ahead.

Concern

"We went to the talks at the LRC but there was nothing meaningful there.

"The way we see it is if they are giving away 10pc now the process will begin again in 2017 for routes to be tendered out in 2019.

"There is nothing stopping them from coming along then and saying they are tendering out 90pc of the routes.

"That is our major concern. It is much too vague at the moment and there is nothing in the legislation to say that won't happen.

"We want guarantees. You have to understand where we are coming from.

"It was very disappointing what happened here yesterday.

"Someone has to ask the question, what happened in the days between the LRC talks break down and yesterday.

"There was a window of opportunity for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann to call us in for talks and they never did until yesterday.

"People have to ask themselves why."

Irish Independent

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