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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
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Rail and Dublin Bus workers angry over treatment of Bus Éireann staff, says union boss

There is no end in sight for the Bus Éireann strike, as it continues for its third day today.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THE GENERAL SECRETARY of the National Bus and Rail Union has said that there is “a lot of anger” among staff at Dublin Bus and Irish Rail after they saw the letter sent to Bus Éireann workers earlier this week.

That letter prompted workers to opt for an immediate, all-out strike which entered its third day today.

There is currently no end in sight for the strike, which concerns a series of cost-cutting measures that the financially struggling Bus Éireann is seeking to implement.

Spreading out

Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week programme, the NBRU’s Dermot O’Leary said that while the policy of the union was to advise Irish Rail and Dublin Bus workers to continue working during the Bus Éireann dispute, nothing would change the anger at the situation among their ranks.

When asked if there would be similar to delays to train services as there was on Friday, O’Leary said that “as far as he was concerned” trains would not be affected by workers not crossing picket lines again during the coming week.

“I have been telling people they should go to work in Irish Rail,” he said.

He did say, however, that there was a lot of anger among workers at the other companies who are represented by the NBRU – Dublin Bus and Irish Rail.

A letter was sent by company management to worker during the week outlining the changes that were being made at the company.

The unions have strongly resisted these changes, and state that savings can be made elsewhere.

In the NBRU statement signalling the beginning of the strike, O’Leary said that the management at Bus Éireann had “clearly signalled that they are intent on pursuing a race to the bottom in relation to workers jobs, terms and conditions”.

Today, he told RTÉ that some workers he represented at the other companies feared that they could next in line for similar cuts.

“I dictate policy from the centre,” O’Leary said, indicating that there was no desire from the NRBU for the strike to involve other transport workers but he warned “I can’t make them not angry and not want to react”.

Reaching a solution

O’Leary said that he wanted Ministerial intervention into the current industrial dispute, calling on Shane Ross to reverse his stance of not intervening.

“Ministers should be rowing in to try help find a solution here,” he said.

With the board at Bus Éireann meeting tomorrow, with the potential for legal action to be pursued with the aim of ending the strike, O’Leary accused management at the company of not having the required experience to resolve the dispute.

He suggested that Coras Iompair Éireann (CIE) provide funding for the company to help it financially in the short-term, before a longer resolution can be agreed.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross is to appear before an Oireachtas Committee this week to explain the current situation at Bus Éireann.

His last appearance before the committee was a feisty affair, with Ross refusing all calls to intervene in the industrial dispute.

Read: Bus Éireann strike latest: Heavy traffic reported on many routes this afternoon

Read: ‘I’ve no other choices in life. It’s all I know how to do’: Bus Éireann staff fear the worst

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Sean Murray

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