Taoiseach: Strongly urges bus drivers not to strike May 1st – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Taoiseach: Strongly urges bus drivers not to strike May 1st


The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has strongly urged bus drivers not to strike on May 1st over proposed privatisation plans for 10 per cent of public routes.

Mr Kenny told the Sinn Fein leader that “The strike should be called off in my view,” during a debate in the Dail. The news comes after employees at Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over new proposals put forward by the National Transport Authority (NTA) which includes 10 per cent of routes currently operated by the two State companies out to tender.

Mr Kenny claims that one of the main objectives of the Labour Relations Commission negotiations “was to enable the vast majority of employees to remain within Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann. Mr Kenny says: “Those employees who might transfer would have their terms and their conditions and their pension benefits maintained. This was clarified and agreed by the Minister.” However Mr Adams strongly disagrees with the Taoiseach and is appealing to Mr Kenny to reverse the decision to privatise 10 per cent of bus services, claiming “privatisation will inevitably drive down wages and terms and conditions for workers”. Mr Adams also stated that Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus had previously struggled to maintain their services due to increased passenger numbers and revenue despite Government cuts. Mr Adams also claimed that the Government was deeply involved in the “destruction of public services” but stated that further investment in public transport is essential.

Mr Adams slammed the Government decision to force the public transport companies to compete with private operators claiming “and buses will now run as a means of generating profit for shareholders and not as a public service”. Which would result in ordinary workers, students, the elderly and families being forced to pay more for a vital service. Adams strongly urged the Taoiseach to acknowledge that “profit cannot be the decisive factor in whether the economy and public services thrive or further decline”. However Mr Kenny responded saying: “I don’t accept from you at all Deputy Adams that the Government has decided to privatise Bus Éireann or Dublin Bus”. “Introducing competitive tendering on a small segment of the entire bus routes available will save taxpayers’ money, will encourage cost competitiveness and will enhance service quality.”
He also added that the NTA decided in 2013 that 10 per cent of the existing market should be tendered following a wide-ranging consultation.

Mr Kenny claimed that the proposed competitive tendering process for the 10 per cent would be put forward during the year and Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann would be competing for those tenders and they might well win them.

Share this story with a friend

Share this story

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page