Meaningful engagement only possible in atmosphere of trust and disclosure
Trade union Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, has today (Thursday February 9th) written to Bus Éireann in response to management’s letter to unions yesterday. In the letter, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley takes issue with management’s claim that they are prepared to ‘engage without preconditions’ and points out that the unilateral imposition by Bus Éireann of changes already in place constitutes preconditions, as do the letters dated January 18th and January 27th. In his letter, Mr Quigley said:
“Your statement of willingness to engage without preconditions must be backed up by written confirmation from you by return that the letters referred to above are withdrawn and that the changes already imposed are undone”.
“I will again remind you that your good self gave an assurance to the Labour Court on December 6, 2016 in the presence of all Unions that Bus Éireann would, on receipt of the Consultant’s Report, immediately share it with the Trade Unions. You should therefore also put that right, and all other relevant information in its totality regarding this crisis should be made available to the Trade Unions prior to any engagement”.
Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Quigley said:
“There are just eleven days until the strike action scheduled to commence on February 20th. Unite members voted unanimously for industrial action, and their resolve has been hardened by the cavalier attitude displayed by management over the past few weeks.
“While Unite is absolutely willing to engage in talks, meaningful engagement can only take place in an atmosphere of trust and disclosure, and that requires management to withdraw their ‘letters of threat’, reverse any changes already implemented, and publish all relevant documentation, including the Grant Thornton report.
“No one, least of all the unions, doubts that Bus Éireann is in crisis. Unfortunately, the actions of management have exacerbated that crisis. The window of opportunity to resolve this situation is narrowing with every day that passes. I hope management will respond by return to my letter, confirming withdrawal of their threats and reversal of any changes already implemented. I also look forward to the Grant Thornton report and other relevant documentation being sent immediately to the Trade Unions”, Mr Quigley concluded.