Unions to meet on Thursday to discuss growing crisis
January 22nd: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, has written to Bus Éireann Acting CEO Ray Hernan and Transport Minister Shane Ross notifying them that the union will not be meeting with the company until the threat of forced implementation of cost-cutting proposals is withdrawn. The letter from Regional Officer Willie Quigley followed the company invitation to unions to meet on Tuesday January 24th. Unions representing workers in Bus Éireann will be meeting in Unite offices on Thursday January 26th to discuss their response to the growing crisis.
Commenting, Mr Quigley said:
“Unite is always willing to engage within a proper industrial relations procedure to ensure our members’ terms and conditions are protected and to negotiate resolutions that safeguard continued employment.
“Unfortunately, during the past week-and-a-half the company has driven a coach and four through established procedures, and instead has chosen to negotiate through leaks and threats.
“In early December, Bus Éireann management advised the Labour Court – in the context of a hearing in which it refused to participate – that a report prepared by Grant Thornton would be issued early in 2017 and would be immediately shared with the trade unions. Instead, the report has been extensively leaked to the media but continues to be withheld from the trade unions. It is increasingly clear that the company has scant respect for their workers, for the Labour Court or for established industrial relations procedures.
“Instead, in advance of any engagement and without having had sight of the Grant Thornton report, our members are being asked to accept another round of savage cuts and attacks on their terms and conditions.
“Unite has informed Mr Hernan and the Minister that the threat of forced implementation of these proposals must be withdrawn prior to any meeting. Accordingly, Unite will not be attending the meeting on Tuesday proposed by Management.
“All unions involved in Bus Éireann will be meeting on Thursday January 26th to discuss this growing crisis and how best to defend our members”, Mr Quigley said.