Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan has called on Transport Minister Shane Ross to “come out of hiding” and intervene in the Bus Eireann Dispute.
Members of both SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union placed pickets at Colbert Station early on Friday morning in response to a decision by Bus Eireann management to impose €12 million of cuts to pay and services.
And Deputy Quinlivan is adamant that the primary cause of the dispute is Government policy: “I visited the strikes today along with Senator Paul Gavan and local Councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh at Colbert Station today to offer our support and they are very angry that they have been forced in this strike. Minister Shane Ross and the Fine Gael party are hell bent on taking our national bus company down the path of wage cuts, service cuts and privatisation. This has been official party policy for Fine Gael since their 2011 manifesto pledge to open all bus routes to competition.”
“In addition the current Public Service Obligation subvention is wholly inadequate. I am calling on Minister Ross to come out of hiding, face up to his responsibilities and do the job he is being paid for.”
The Sinn Féin TD, who was on the picket line with workers on Friday, continued, “Fianna Fáil also have a role here- they are propping up this awful right-wing government and this appalling Minister. I am calling on all elected representatives to demand that Minister Ross intervene now. These workers and the travelling public have already suffered enough!”
Deputy Quinlivan concluded, “The government need to immediately bring Bus Eireann under the direct ownership of the CIE holding company to solve the immediate funding crisis before embarking on meaningful negotiations with all stakeholders to secure the long term future of our public bus service”