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TSSA join Bus Eireann co-workers on picket lines

27 March 2017

TSSA General Secretay Manuel Cortes will join striking bus workers on picket lines in Dublin this morning alongside TSSA members who join the indefinite strike action shortly after midnight today. (Mon)

Cortes says Bus Eireann could end this strike today if they were to withdraw their unilateral imposition of changes to terms and condition and instead worked jointly with unions to find a long lasting resolution which secures the company's future.

"Bus Eireann is not just a bus service, it is a vital public and social service across rural Ireland. There have been very moving tales in this weekend's papers about the devastating personal affects closures of routes will have on people in rural areas. I hope the moving tale of the carless pensioner who uses the threatened 21 route to access a connecting bus at Claremorris to take her to Galway for her cancer treatment is read by The Taoiseach and the Transport Minster. She leaves home at 7.05 am and gets back in the early evening. It's already an endurance test for her but, as of April 16, when Bus Eireann say they will close the route, she has no idea how she will manage. This is not what we expected for Ireland in the 21st century. There are countless other carless pensioners like her for whom buses are the only form of transport available to them.

"Transport Minister Shane Ross, and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, are failing their public service obligation to these people whose lives will devastated by the imminent closures to bus routes. Where is their heart? Where is their commitment to public service? What does he want our cancer patients to do - die in their homes because they can't reach treatment? And what about our elder folk who will no longer be able to reach the shops - are they to starve?

"The truth is that Bus Eireann is not in unresolvable crisis. It is in government and management made transition towards a sell-off and It could be called off in a moment by an instructon to from Kenny to Bus Eireann to get back to the Workplace Relations Committee. But right now he'd rather rather cozy-up to Apple, Google and Facebook and advise them on save on tax issues than speak to unions on how to save Bus Eireann as the only social network to get Ireland's vulnerable and isolated older and poorest people to shops, doctors appointments, hospital treatment or mass. The government should not abandon these people to "transport purgatory" as one news paper columnist so aptly put it. TSSA is joining the strike at midnight but we remain ready and willing to talk to settle this dispute quickly."

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