Management and government responsible for financial crisis highlighted in recommendation
Focus now must be on charting sustainable route for public transport
April 13th: Unite, which represents craft workers in Bus Éireann, confirmed this afternoon that its members – who have been on strike for 21 days – are set to return to work following the Labour Court’s issuing of a recommendation. Noting that management must take responsibility for the financial crisis at the company highlighted by the Labour Court, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said that the focus now must be on charting what he termed a ‘sustainable route forward’ for Ireland’s public transport system, including Bus Éireann.
“The scope of this recommendation, and the gravity of the situation which it addresses, are in my experience unprecedented, and both management and government must take responsibility for the financial crisis which has brought the company to this point.
“The manner in which Bus Éireann management has handled the current crisis, including their failure back in December to engage at the Labour Court, has been extremely disappointing and has been compounded by the apparent influence exerted by outside bodies such as the NTA. If Bus Éireann is to be put back on a sound footing, both the worker and the travelling public must have confidence in those directing it, and in the direction they’re taking”, Mr Quigley warned.
“Together with the other unions involved in Bus Éireann, Unite will be consulting with and balloting our members on this recommendation – a recommendation which demands heavy sacrifices of them. We will be announcing details of the balloting arrangements in due course.
“The focus now must be on charting a sustainable route forward for Bus Éireann and the wider public transport system. The unions have consistently argued that a forum of all stakeholders must be convened to examine these issues, and I note that the Labour Court endorses that proposal. Unite will play a constructive role in such a forum, which we hope will be convened as soon as possible. However, such a forum will only have a successful outcome if the Government is prepared to make a long-term financial commitment to the future of public transport as a public service. Such a commitment has been noticeably absent in recent months ”, Mr Quigley concluded.