Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Robert Troy TD says the placing of secondary pickets by Bus Éireann workers at Dublin Bus and Irish Rail depots is unacceptable and cannot be condoned.

Deputy Troy said, “The placing of secondary pickets by Bus Éireann workers at Dublin Bus and Irish Rail depots represents a serious escalation of this dispute which has now entered its eight day. Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been left without a service with no prior notice. The placing of secondary pickets cannot be condoned. No one should be prevented from accessing their workplace as a result of unsanctioned strike action.

“The remaining secondary pickets should be lifted immediately so that Dublin Bus and Irish Rail workers can return to work. It is unfair to drag these workers into the Bus Éireann dispute by way of unofficial strike action. We can’t allow unofficial strike action to bring the entire country to a standstill.

“Serious questions now have to be asked regarding Minister Ross’s handling of the Bus Éireann dispute. He has continued to take a completely hands-off approach which has further alienated both workers and passengers. Minister Ross has been aware of the significant structural problems facing Bus Éireann for nearly a year now. The Minister was warned that this strike would escalate should he continue to ignore the problems facing Bus Éireann. Unfortunately this has now come to pass.

“Workers at Bus Éireann want to return to work as soon as possible, but they have significant concerns surrounding the future of the company which need to be taken into account. Minister Ross needs to give a commitment that he will commence parallel talks with other stakeholders to demonstrate that he doesn’t expect all savings to be achieved through work efficiencies alone. This gesture would go a long way in helping to encourage Bus Éireann workers to re-engage with the industrial relations mechanisms of the State.

“Minister Ross needs to recognise that he is no longer a commentator merely musing on the future of Bus Éireann. He is Minister for Transport and it’s time he started to fulfil his duties.”