Sunday 28 May 2017

Crisis at Bus Éireann has no easy fix - unions and management will have to share the pain

Transport Minister Shane Ross has not succumbed to that pressure, suggesting instead that the management and unions should first agree on every reasonable efficiency. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Transport Minister Shane Ross has not succumbed to that pressure, suggesting instead that the management and unions should first agree on every reasonable efficiency. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Willie Kealy

Willie Kealy

'I sympathise with the bus workers but I wish their industrial action didn't impact on me." That has been a common reaction from commuters affected by the current bus strike. And it makes no sense at all.

A strike is a weapon of industrial relations and probably the only weapon that workers with a grievance have at their disposal. Of course, they could go on strike from two to six in the morning and everyone would be happy, but there would be no point, because the purpose of a strike is to inconvenience you, the commuter, so that you get annoyed and you transfer your annoyance to the management of Bus Éireann and to the Government. But in the end, the strike will solve nothing.

If the management of Bus Éireann was a greedy bunch of capitalists unwilling to share the wealth with the workers, the pressure of a strike, both moral and economic, might work. But that is not the case here.

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