Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley TD, has called on the Government to intervene immediately in the dispute between Bus Éireann and its staff.

Unions confirmed this week that workers have voted to take industrial action if Bus Éireann proceeds with cost-cutting measures due to come into effect on Sunday. Deputy Dooley has called on both Ministers in the Department of Transport to intervene while it’s still possible to avoid disruption of the public transport network and save commuters the huge inconvenience associated with strike action.

“Minister Varadkar and Junior Minister Kelly must intervene with company management in seeking a withdrawal of the proposals to change the terms and conditions of employment for workers until such time as face to face negotiations have concluded,” said Deputy Dooley.

“The country needs an integrated transport network that is fully functioning. If industrial action goes ahead it will cause travel chaos throughout the country and it should be a priority of the Government and the Minister to avoid this.

“This situation cannot be allowed to get out of control, there’s a short window for intervention over the next 2 to 3 days and it’s the responsibility of the Ministers to act.

“I am concerned with the hands-off attitude of Minister Varadkar; simply saying that he regrets the situation is not good enough. We need to see decisive action by the Government.

“I understand that Bus Éireann has a reduced subvention this year and must work within their budgets but these targets must be met through an integrated approach. Staff and management must work together in this process and the breakdown in communication has resulted in the threat of industrial action.

“Strike action looms after the weekend unless some sort of compromise is reached, I would urge the Ministers to mediate in talks between all parties to reach a compromise before any damaging strike action.

“This is a matter of vital national importance and it is imperative all is done to resolve this dispute immediately.”