Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Thomas Byrne, says Minister Leo Varadkar has failed thousands of Bus Éireann passengers affected by today’s bus strike.
The strike by members of the National Bus and Rail Workers Union (NBRU) has affected 95% of Bus Éireann services throughout the country. Senator Byrne said that the Minister for Transport has failed thousands of passengers by not taking more of a direct interest in the dispute.
“The approach taken by Minister Varadkar so far has been hugely disappointing. It was apparent in recent days that both sides in the dispute were open for talks about finding some sort of resolution, yet no contact was made.
“This was a prime opportunity for Minister Varadkar to show some leadership and mediate. While he may maintain that he has no direct involvement in the dispute, surely the Minister can see the graveness of the situation and work for a compromise.
“I am now calling on the Minister to finally recognise the seriousness of the situation and act. Hundreds of thousands of exam students face chaos if they cannot use public transport to access to sit their exams. People cannot afford to use private transport to travel to work, school, college or to medical appointments.
“There is no easy solution to the dispute, but without talks there is no hope of a compromise. Minister Varadkar must act now, Bus Éireann stands to lose €200,000 per day of the dispute. The company is already in a very difficult financial situation and it cannot be allowed to escalate any further.”