Reiterating call for stakeholder forum, Unite warns members’ patience running out
Grant Thornton report must be published
January 28th: Responding to the latest letter to staff from Bus Éireann CEO Ray Hernan, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley today voiced exasperation at what he termed ‘management intransigence coupled with ministerial inaction’ which, he said, was precipitating a crisis not of the workers’ making.
“Our members last had a pay increase in 2008 and accepted a harsh package of cuts in 2013. The Company refused to participate in a Labour Court hearing at the end of 2016. On January 18th the company wrote announcing the unilateral imposition of unprecedented measures, and yesterday wrote again announcing additional cuts to be implemented on February 20th.
“In a move which defies all business logic, limited overtime has been cut while work is being contracted out at additional cost.
“All this has taken place without workers or the public being given sight of the Grant Thornton report which reportedly underlies these measures. And all the while the Minister disclaims any responsibility for this developing crisis which will affect communities throughout the country.
“The public is as baffled as the unions by the approach being adopted by management and the Minister.
“Unite and the other unions have consistently restated their willingness to engage with management on a level playing field to resolve this crisis and secure the future of a vital public service. Such engagement would require the withdrawal of any threats of unilaterally imposed cuts, and the disclosure of all relevant information, including the Grant Thornton report and any other pertinent documentation.
“Unite is currently balloting for strike action, and the results will be available on Tuesday January 31st. Given Bus Éireann’s announcement of unilateral cuts to be implemented on February 20th, there is only a narrow window of opportunity to resolve this crisis.
“Our members want to continue providing a vital service to local communities, but their patience is rapidly running out.
“Neither management nor the Minister should be in any doubt that the unions will do everything necessary to defend the interests of our members and the travelling public”, Willie Quigley concluded.