13 April 2017
Following recommendations of the Labour Court, TSSA are now lifting pickets with immediate effect as per the requirement of the Court and instruct all members to return to work on their next rostered shifts and bring to conclusion the longest ever consecutive days strike in our union's 120 year history.
TSSA will now arrange a ballot process. But TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes is now calling for Bus Éireann acting Chief Executive Officer Ray Hernan to hand in his resignation or be sacked by Transport Minister, Shane Ross for driving the company to the wall with no regard for either his passengers nor his staff.
"Bus Éireann's workers have shown the great courage of their public service conviction and impressive solidarity in their three week long picket line defence of jobs and services and succeeded in overturning the company's wish to impose unilateral job cuts.
"The Labour Court's ruling in favour of voluntary severance packages and, the creation of a company stakeholder forum which means workers union representatives can never again be by-passed in the company's decision making processes, indicate the Labour Court recognises a deal could have - and should have - been reached long ago. Acting CEO Ray Hernan should step aside or be sacked for imperiling a viable public service to the point of insolvency.
"TSSA members and Bus Éireann's workforce have won a victory against their intransigent boss who preferred to turf his workforce out on the streets and leave rural Ireland with no public transport for three weeks rather than properly negotiating a settlement with us.
"Resolving the mismanagement at Bus Éireann was never an going to be an easy task, but the sad truth is that today's settlement ordered by the Labour Court is one we could have had months ago if Bus Éireann had ever had the will to negotiate to find an amicable and workable solution to their insolvency crisis.
"The court ordered creation of a new stakeholder forum, including trades unions, so workers can never again be locked out of decisions about this workplace is a good idea and normally I'd say such a strategy promotes good industrial relations. But given the scale of the job losses they want, the victory is pyrrhic and the ruling is just an effort to lock stable door after the horse has bolted.
"The Irish government cannot avoid their share of responsibility for allowing Bus Éireann to continue to haemorrhage €500,000 each strike day. They should have stepped in far earlier to head off the situation in which we now find ourselves. Hundreds of decent public service workers will pay with their jobs, and rural Ireland will lose vital but routes whilst beleaguered taxpayers are served with the bill and will have to fork out to underwrite this mess.
"Make no mistake unless big heads roll, our return to work will not restore our trust or confidence in Bus Éireann bosses who have failed their company, their passengers, their staff and their country."
The previous longest re order strike in TSSA history in 1926 during the 11 day British General Strike.