Deputy Dooley made the comments after the appointment of Deputy Ross to the position of Minister for Transport; saying that he wrote to former Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe over the last few weeks to outline the need for such a task force to be implemented.
“For the last few months these intermittent strikes on the Luas network have caused great disruption to people who rely on public transport. The first priority for Shane Ross has to be the resolution of this dispute. He needs to immediately brief himself on all the issues surrounding this dispute, and he needs to familiarise himself with all parties to this dispute, including shop stewards and management. It is essential that he engages with these groups immediately to de-escalate the crisis.
“Business leaders and tourist groups in the city, as well as commuters have contacted me in recent weeks to express their frustration with the ongoing industrial action. There is danger that the reputation of Dublin is being put at risk from this dispute. Every effort must be made to assist management and workers in striking a deal,” said Deputy Dooley.
“In recent weeks I called for the creation of a new task force comprising of representatives from the Government, IBEC and the ICTU who would be given the responsibility of identifying a clear pathway to resolve the dispute. A similar task force was put in place to help resolve the Dublin Bus dispute in 2013. At that time the group played a key role in bridging the divide between management and unions.
“I wrote to Pascal Donohoe when he was Minister to ask him to establish such a task force without any further delay – I now call on Minister Ross to take this action. No one wants this conflict to rumble on for weeks on end. Action is needed to break the impasse between management and unions.
“I want to reinstate that I am fully supportive of the work of the Workplace Relations Commission and the mediation of Kieran Mulvey. I believe this task force can complement the good work of the WRC to date and bring both parties back to the negotiating table to achieve an agreement. Minister Ross will need to act promptly to facilitate these actions which could potentially resolve this dispute,” concluded Deputy Dooley.