Bus Éireann: Unite members backed by €40 million strike fund

unite-white-out-of-redMcCluskey says struggle crucial to future of public transport

March 28th: It was revealed today (Tuesday 28 March) that Unite has amassed a €40 million strike fund to support members during industrial disputes. The news comes as workers in Bus Éireann are on a fifth day of industrial action in protest at the unilateral imposition of a cuts package.

Commenting, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Public transport workers are at the frontline in the battle against creeping privatisation, and attempts to drive down terms and conditions.

“The issues underlying the current dispute in Bus Éireann – including the scandalously low level of public subvention to a crucial public service – have implications for the future of Ireland’s public transport system as a whole.

“As our members spend another day on the picket lines, they need to know that they have the full support of 1.4 million Unite members across Britain and Ireland.

“Over a number of years, Unite has amassed a €40 million strike fund to support members during industrial disputes. I am sending a clear message to employers: when our members are in dispute, they not only have right on their side – they also have financial might on their side.

“I hope that the Irish Government will see sense, start treating Bus Éireann as the vital strategic asset it is, and invest in its services accordingly. But our members will not be bullied to the table by threats.

“They are fighting not only for their own futures, but for the right of communities throughout Ireland to a decent public transport system that provides a quality service and quality jobs. They have my full support in that battle – and the backing of a €40 million strike fund.”

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Irish work more, pay more and earn less

unite-white-out-of-redIrish purchasing power 16 per cent below EU-15 average

Figures highlight need to move Minimum Wage towards Living Wage

March 26th: Irish workers put in more hours, pay more for good and services, and earn less than their European counterparts according to trade union Unite.  Commenting on recent CSO figures showing that Ireland has the third highest price levels in the EU, behind only Denmark and the UK, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said today (Sunday March 26th) that, when prices are factored in, Irish wages fall 16 per cent below the EU-15 average.  At the same time, Irish workers put in more hours on the job than other Europeans.

“We already know that private sector employee compensation is six per cent behind the average of the EU-15.   But wages are just one side of the living standards coin – prices are the other, and the consumer price figures published by the CSO this month show that Irish worker face the third highest price levels in the EU.  As a result, when prices are factored in Irish wages fall a staggering 16 per cent below the EU-15 average.

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Jimmy Kelly: Taoiseach must intervene to resolve Bus Éireann dispute

unite-white-out-of-redDispute rooted in policy choices and requires political solutions

Underlying issues have implications for future of public transport

March 24th: Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly today called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene urgently to ensure resolution of the current dispute at Bus Éireann, the safeguarding of jobs at the company, and Bus Éireann’s future as a public transport entity.  Unite represents craft workers at the company.

Pointing out that the subvention levels to Bus Éireann are not only low compared to other European countries, but have been slashed by 22% in real terms since 2009, Mr Kelly said that the issues underlying the current dispute have implications for the future of Ireland’s public transport system as a whole..

“It is not good enough for the Government to adopt a hands-off approach.  This dispute is rooted in policy choices and requires political solutions.

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Welcome for Department’s three-month extension for fixed-contract Youth Workers

unite-against-hateDepartment of Education confirms more than one hundred fixed-term youth workers will have their contracts extended to the end of June 2017

Political parties now need to agree re-establishment of a functioning Executive to secure vital public services

March 24th: Unite Regional Officer, Taryn Trainor, has welcomed the confirmation by the Department of Education that will extend the contracts of more than one hundred fixed-term Youth Service workers from the beginning of April to the end of June 2017:

“Youth services play a vital role in our society, particular in the most socially deprived areas, through supporting young people transition from childhood to adulthood. These services are vital in addressing the challenges associated with high youth unemployment, unprecedented rates of suicide and poor youth mental health that support services. Continue reading

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Bus Éireann management bears responsibility for ‘avoidable’ strike action

unite-white-out-of-redUnite condemns ‘unprecedented’ sidelining of WRC

Unite members working for Bus Éireann are preparing to commence strike action at midnight tonight.  Speaking this afternoon after a meeting in Unite’s Dublin offices of the five trade unions involved, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said:

“Bus Éireann management bears full responsibility for what should have been an avoidable strike.  Their decision to sideline the WRC is, in my experience, unprecedented.  The behaviour of management, culminating in yesterday’s letter to staff, raises very serious questions regarding the commitment of both management and Bus Éireann’s shareholder, the Minister, to the future of the company as a public transport provider offering a quality public service to the public and decent terms and conditions to its workers.

“While we remain available to engage under the auspices of the WRC, the unions are determined to defend the interests of our members and the travelling public.

“Our members are now preparing to take indefinite strike action from midnight tonight, Mr Quigley concluded.

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