Monday 18 December 2017

Transport union calls on Shane Ross to debate future of Bus Eireann - before 'travel chaos'

General secretary of the NBRU Dermot O’Leary
General secretary of the NBRU Dermot O’Leary Newsdesk Newsdesk

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has called on Transport Minister Shane Ross to sit down and have a debate about the future of Bus Eireann, before there is widespread industrial action.

NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary said that there needs to more debate around the issue.

“The Minister went on RTE’s Primetime programme on Thursday last and placed an emphasis on the industrial relations issues which he said were at the heart of the Bus Eireann dispute, before going on to say that he was committed to sitting down and speaking with the NBRU, and other stakeholders after the ‘industrial relations dispute’ was over to discuss the vision for the future of public transport.

"The fact of the matter here is that there is no dispute currently at Bus Eireann and therefore no impediment to initiating such a debate,” Mr O'Leary said.

He went on to say that the issue needs to be resolved before there is 'travel chaos'.

“It surely behoves the responsible line Minister here to arrange for a debate, which we accept would include the current crisis at Bus Eireann, rather than stand-by spectator like and allow for a contrived and forced industrial relations dispute.

"It will do nothing but impose potential travel chaos on those taxpayers who rely on vital social and economic Bus Eireann Services, thereby making the task of resolving the issues at the core of financial problems at this State-owned Company even more difficult.”

Earlier today it was announced that Bus Eireann could go out of business by the end of this year, with the loss of 2,600 jobs.

Ray Hernan indicated that the financial crisis is worse than previously thought as he had said it could become insolvent within 18 months. Mr Hernan was speaking at a Dail Transport Committee meeting this morning.

He urged unions to come to the table urgently and warned he could not implement a survival plan without their assistance.

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