Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said Transport Minister Shane Ross must engage with all stakeholders in the Bus Éireann dispute as a matter of urgency.The Ireland South MEP made the comments as it emerged that SIPTU was to ballot its members in the other CIÉ companies, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail, on strike action.
“The Minister must now realise that his head-in-the-sand approach to this dispute has failed,” she said.
“He must begin meaningful engagement with all parties involved or it is the public who will suffer. This government must begin to treat public transport as a key infrastructure and a duty of the Government, not something they provide as a favour. This insidious slide towards privatisation must be halted.
“I have spent the last few weeks carrying out public meetings right across the Ireland South constituency on this issue where I have spoken to countless Bus Éireann workers and the one thing they have all told me is that they do not want to strike. They have been forced into this position by an intransigent management and a Transport Minister who does not think that public transport is part of his remit.
“Other CIÉ workers are now fearful that if Bus Éireann staff are treated this way they will be next. If the Minister wishes to avoid chaos on our roads then he must do his job and engage with the workers Bus Éireann management, the National Transport Authority as a matter of urgency.”