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TSSA demand Taoiseach & Transport Minister be held to account for their role in Bus Éireann dispute

24 March 2017

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes is calling on Ireland's media to hold Transport Minister Shane Ross to account for his role in engineering the Bus Éireann dispute.

TSSA members are due to join Bus Éireann colleagues on all out strike from 00:01 on Monday.

Cortes is demanding to know what role Ross has played in torpedoing talks at the Workplace Relations Commission and also allowing Bus Éireann to spread false accusations that unions have refused to negotiate and in provoking workers to defend their livelihoods through strike action.

Said Cortes
"When a state-owned company is allowed to get away with treating it's workers like this, then there is always a political agenda. State owned companies only behave like this way when they have the endorsement for their actions at the highest level of government. This is exactly what happened during the miners strike in Britain where Thatcher, not coal bosses, was in the driving seat.

"Shane Ross has tried to pretend he has washed his hands of this dispute. Come on! He's steeped up to his arm pits in the Bus Éireann dispute. That's why we haven't seen him coming out of his war-bunker to try and settle an easily settable dispute.

"For Ross, this is his miners strike as he has made no attempts in the past to hide his dislike for Bus Éireann and its workers. His agenda, Enda Kenny's agenda, it's the privatisation of Ireland's bus services. Bus Éireann's refusal to negotiate with unions, their withdrawal of voluntary severance deals just after they made them, their unilateral imposition of forty-six changes to terms and conditions, all of it will have been signed off by Kenny and Ross - otherwise the company could simply not be at war with its employees.

"Ireland's media needs to hold Kenny and Ross to account for the dirty, duplicitous war game they are playing with real peoples lives. Their own people's livelihoods. Wrecking Ireland's bus services has no political mandate. The solidarity being shown by other workers today in not crossing picket lines will spread. Ross should come out of the war bunker and start negotiating the peace settlement before greater damage is inflicted on the Irish economy. TSSA is willing to negotiate. Why isn't he?"

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