Thursday 21 September 2017

Unions to exclude rural bus travellers in strike

TDs last night debated a Fianna Fáil private members’ motion seeking to resolve the financial issues facing Bus Éireann. (Stock picture)
TDs last night debated a Fianna Fáil private members’ motion seeking to resolve the financial issues facing Bus Éireann. (Stock picture)

Anne Marie Walsh

Unions will exclude Bus Éireann passengers with no alternative transport services from strikes when they announce a game plan for industrial action this week.

Transport Minister Shane Ross came under pressure in the Dáil last night for not taking action on the threatened industrial action at Bus Éireann.

Fianna Fáil has tabled a motion criticising the Government's handling of the crisis at the semi-state company.

FF transport spokesperson Robert Troy suggested Mr Ross had used public transport only once in his life. But he stopped short of calling for a confidence motion, saying the issue is about Bus Éireann workers, and not personalities.

TDs last night debated a Fianna Fáil private members' motion seeking to resolve the financial issues facing the company - with reported losses of €5.3m projected to increase this year.

Read more: 'He has used public transport possibly once in his life' - Fianna Fail ramp up attack on Shane Ross

It said the company could face liquidation within 24 months - with unions warning of industrial "warfare".

Speaking to reporters at Leinster House, Mr Troy said his counterpart had "taken a back seat" on the issue.

However, speaking in the Dáil last night Mr Ross referred to reforms made by Seán Lemass in 1946, saying ministers should avoid cutting across the respective roles of the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

The NBRU and Siptu already hold a mandate for strike action, following ballots last year if the company imposes cuts without agreement.

Unite has also voted unanimously in favour of strike action.

Regional officer Willie Quigley said the ballot result reflected the anger felt by Unite members and other Bus Éireann workers.

Irish Independent

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