January 31st: Unite today announced that its members in Bus Éireann have voted unanimously in favour of strike action. The news follows the company’s threatened unilateral implementation of a drastic cuts package on February 20th. Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said:
“Today’s ballot result reflects the anger felt by Unite members and other Bus Éireann workers at the company’s behaviour during the past number of months, and in particular the past fortnight. Their refusal to engage in an arranged hearing at the Labour Court in December has been compounded by a deliberate strategy of selective media leaks and threats designed to intimidate the workforce and confuse the public.
“The much-vaunted Grant Thornton report has still not been provided to unions, and yesterday we learnt through the media of another ‘internal’ report whose recommendations were apparently rejected.
“At the same time, leaks to local media are reporting the threatened closure of some garages – causing great concern to workers and local communities.
“Our members’ growing anger at management’s behaviour has been exacerbated by the Minister’s persistent refusal to take a proactive role in this crisis and convene a meeting of all stakeholders.
“The unions will be meeting in Unite offices at 2 pm on Thursday February 2nd to agree a course of action in response to the forced implementation of cuts
“Neither management nor the Minister should be in any doubt that the unions will be resolute in defending the interests of our members and the travelling public”, Willie Quigley concluded.