Bus Éireann Dispute Sparks Suspicion
By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2017
The daily routines of many Irish commuters were thrown into disarray when employees of Bus Éireann, an intercity and regional bus service that connects areas in Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, and Galway, went on strike for 21 days in April. Protesting poor company conditions and unfair pay, the workers lifted the pickets following a Labor Court reform proposal to improve work conditions, make 200 staff members redundant, and cut the wages of the company’s highest earners over the coming months.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald blasted transport minister Shane Ross for his claim that he was “not a mediator” and would not be “dictating” to the company or unions on internal issues. Speaking at Leinster House, McDonald criticized the government’s hands-off approach during negotiations, saying it revealed a “privatization agenda” on the part of Ross and the Irish government.
“Those workers who are risking their livelihoods on the picket lines are simply being used in an ideological campaign to privatize our bus routes,” said McDonald. “That is an indictment on this government and they should hang their heads in shame.” ♦