Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley has called on the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe to bring the threat of further bus strikes to an end. A second two-day strike by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus workers is due to take place on 15th and 16th of May, causing travel chaos for tens of thousands of passengers.
Deputy Dooley commented, “This dispute has escalated completely out of control. Commuters, tourists and the economy are bearing the brunt of an ongoing stand-off between the Government and transport workers. With no end in sight, it is high time that Minister Donohoe started taking charge of the situation before more lives are disrupted.
“As the ultimate head of our public transport services, it is the Minister’s responsibility to ensure that our buses, which are run on taxpayers’ money, serve the public demand. At the root of this dispute is the privatization agenda of Fine Gael. Minister Donohue needs to address the issues being raised. The Labour party also has a role to play considering it agreed to this round of privatization, which in turn marks the beginning of the process of dismantling our public bus network.
“The Minister must do everything in his power to bring this increasingly bitter dispute to an end. Clearly, there is little hope of direct and meaningful engagement between the two sides in the immediate future, unless there is decisive political intervention. The Minister needs to outline what the Governments future plans are as we head towards the next wave of contract awards in 2019.
“I am also calling on the Minister to clarify if he had any role in the bus companies’ threat to sue unions for any losses incurred during the strike period. It is highly unlikely that the bus company would have initiated the process of attempting to recoup the losses without the approval of the Minister. I want to know if the Minister knew about this threat in advance and what contact he had with management on the matter.”