Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Robert Troy TD says that Minister Ross must urgently engage with unions and management at the transport company to help prevent a damaging strike from occurring from next Monday.

Deputy Troy made the comments following confirmation that talks with unions at the Workplace Relations Committee failed to find a breakthrough and that the board of Bus Éireann have decided to proceed with cuts.

“This is a deeply regrettable situation, especially since the Government have been aware of the financial crisis facing Bus Éireann for over twelve months. Despite this no measures were adopted to help rectify the difficulties facing the State’s largest transport provider,” said Deputy Troy.

“Minister Ross has an obligation now to find a resolution to avert damaging industrial action occurring at the company. Thousands of people who rely on Bus Éireann services on a daily basis are now set to be discommoded and face significant disruption.

“The current problems at Bus Éireann are not the fault of workers and the necessary savings cannot be made exclusively from tinkering with their contracts. While there is there is an acknowledgement that greater efficiency can be achieved, the company’s financial problems are partly related to Government policy, especially with regards funding for the Free Travel Scheme and current route licensing practices. These issues cannot be examined or overcome without input from the Minister and his Department.

“Minister Ross must urgently set out what contingency plans he has in place to deal with this crisis and to ensure that no further loses are incurred at the company,” he concluded.