Bus Éireann response to Minister Donohoe's statement
Bus Éireann welcomes Transport Minister Pascal Donohoe’s personal intervention in the current industrial dispute in a bid to bring parties back to the talks, and avert two days of strike action this weekend.
Our commitment to drivers’ unions that no employee will have to transfer to another company as part of the 10% route tendering process makes any industrial action now unwarranted.
No existing Bus Éireann staff will be affected by route tendering and will remain within the company. The anticipated growth in public transport over the next three years will provide opportunities for continued employment, and this should allay the concerns of the unions. The projected growth in public transport journeys – as a result of the ongoing economic recovery, together with the proposed extra State funding - will allow for a reallocation of resources in the business.
Bus Éireann CEO Martin Nolan called on the unions to abandon the proposed strikes and consider the assurances made by the Minister, which he said were in the “best interests of customers, employees and the company.”
Mr Nolan said that any strike action could have dire financial consequences for the business, which includes the loss of up to 850,000 passenger journeys, and up to €5m. If this occurs the board and management would have to seriously consider measures to protect the company and all its employees.
He said the proposed strikes would reverse all the momentum gained - including increasing passenger numbers and a return to profitability - in the last two years.
“Strike action is absolutely unnecessary and unfair to both the business and travelling public, given that the concerns surrounding employees’ terms and conditions have now been effectively addressed. Much has been achieved in recent years - through both the sacrifice made by the staff during the recession and the welcome additional funding provided by the Government for new fleet. This growth momentum needs to be built upon, and not lost.
“The Minister’s level of intervention here is extremely significant. The commitment made to provide additional funding for both the growth plans, and any transition costs that will arise if the company is unsuccessful in our bid to win the tendered routes, gives the reassurances required to prevent any strike action.”
Bus Éireann calls on the unions to return to the LRC (Labour Relations Commission) immediately, to ensure a major disruption of services to customers is avoided this Bank Holiday weekend.
Tuesday, 28th April, 2015