Saturday 21 April 2018

Anger rises as scale of strikes hits home for the passengers

Dublin Bus workers on the picket line at the Broadstone depot in Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Dublin Bus workers on the picket line at the Broadstone depot in Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

The initial support for striking Dublin Bus drivers was fading last night as beleaguered passengers learnt they now face another 15 days of strikes.

Commuters were left fuming over the huge cost and inconvenience the Dublin Bus strike is having on them, after the unions representing drivers announced 13 more days of strikes yesterday as part of their on-going dispute with CIE over wages.

Michelle Kavanagh
Michelle Kavanagh

The industrial action will bring to 15 the number of days passengers will be without service this month and next, not including this week's 48-hour strike.

That's on top of the early work stoppage at 9pm on the eve of the strike dates for operational reasons.

This has caused extra disruption, leaving many passengers scrambling to get the last bus home at night.

David Mullen (21), from Knocklyon, south Dublin, said he has no idea how he will get to class at Liberties College in the city centre, where he is studying theatre.

Read more: 'Thirteen more days? That’s crazy': Commuters fume at Dublin Bus strike announcement

Waiting patiently for his father to pick him up from school at a city centre café yesterday afternoon, he said he agrees with the drivers' request for a pay rise, but not at the expense of the travelling public.

"I think they deserve the pay rise - but it's going to inconvenience everyone else."

His father won't be available to drive him to and from college next week.

So his only option is paying between €16 and €20 each way by taxi, which he can't afford.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. I hope they get it sorted," he told the Irish Independent.

Davey Kelleher (28), a freelance theatre director from Harold's Cross, said the strike has already affected his performance schedule.

A production that was scheduled to run during the first 48-hour strike last week at the Mercantile Hotel had to be cancelled because cast and crew wouldn't have had any way to get home.

"It's just not an option for people," he said.

He was forced to walk into town yesterday, which took about 45 minutes and which he said was bad enough.

But now he's worried about the impact the strike will have on his play 'Glow Worm' which is running at the Project Theatre as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, opinion was more divided among commuters.

Alex Gandara (28), said: "I can walk to work so it wouldn't be that much of a problem, and I actually haven't noticed that much difference in the traffic.

"There are less buses obviously, but in terms of people walking I haven't noticed too much."

Michelle Cavanagh (29), from Ballyfermot, said: "The bus drivers are holding the city to ransom.

"I don't think they should be allowed to strike and cause this much chaos."

Irish Independent

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