Unite members have no confidence in ‘missing Minister’
Ross must ‘step in or step aside’
March 30th: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, today warned that Transport Minister Shane Ross’s long-standing hostility to CIE and the National Transport Authority seriously compromises his position as Transport Minister at a time when Ireland’s public transport system is facing unprecedented challenges. Regional Officer Willie Quigley said that, if the Minister is ideologically unable to fight the corner of public transport at the Cabinet table, he must make way for someone prepared to take on that task. Stating that Mr Ross must ‘step in or step aside’, Mr Quigley stated that the Minister could start doing his job by intervening to bring Bus Éireann back to the WRC to engage collectively with workers.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said today:
“Last year, our members greeted Mr Ross’s appointment as Transport Minister with dismay, given his well-documented hostility to both CIE and the National Transport Authority – and indeed his implied hostility to the very concept of public transport as a public service.
“In 2011, Mr Ross described CIE – of which he is now the shareholder – as a ‘swamp of waste and skulduggery’ and three years later he called the NTA an ‘enemy of the consumer’.
“It is Unite’s view that Mr Ross’s ability to perform his role as Minister for Transport effectively is seriously compromised by his hostility to two of the main public transport stakeholders – CIE and the NTA. At this point, our members have no confidence in the missing Minister.
“As the Bus Éireann strike continues for a seventh day, Minister Ross’s continued inaction gives rise to concerns that he is deliberately allowing Bus Éireann to run aground as a prelude to the break-up of CIE and eventual privatisation of its components.
“Inaction can be part of a strategy”, Mr Quigley pointed out.
“As Minister for Transport, Mr Ross’s job is to fight the corner of public transport – and the companies delivering it – at the Cabinet table. If he is ideologically unable to perform that task, he must make way for someone who can.
“In the short term, Minister Ross could start doing his job by intervening to bring Bus Éireann back to the WRC to engage with unions.
“The time has come for Minister Ross to step in or step aside”, Mr Quigley concluded