“Commuters the biggest losers in spat between Dublin Bus & unions”

9th April, 2009

City will grind to a halt if industrial action goes ahead.

Commuters have been completely overlooked in the dispute between Dublin Bus and drivers’ unions and will suffer enormous disruption if an all-out strike goes ahead next week, Fine Gael Seanad Transport Spokesman and Dublin Central by-election candidate Senator Paschal Donohoe has warned.

“Commuters will be the biggest losers of all if Dublin Bus and the unions allow their stand-off to develop into a full-blown strike next week. Hundreds of thousands of commuters face massive disruption and Dublin city will grind to a halt in the event of industrial action.

“Both Dublin Bus and the unions appear to have forgotten that passengers are the number one priority. Without the travelling public, there would be no Dublin Bus, and no jobs. Yet their needs and interests seem to have been relegated to the bottom rung in this dispute.

“In the middle of the deepest recession for generations, a strike would cause untold damage to businesses and the commercial life of the city. Commuters won’t be able to get to work, goods won’t be delivered, and
business won’t be done.

“This dispute is yet another consequence of the Fianna Fáil Government’s ongoing refusal to allow genuine competition in the bus market. The cutbacks being proposed by Dublin Bus are the inevitable symptom of a
public company that has relied on State hand-outs for far too long. With the Government refusing to allow real competition, Dublin Bus has never had to face up to its own inefficiencies, until now.

“Transport Minister Noel Dempsey’s only response has been to condone the cutbacks being sought by Dublin Bus. He has made no effort to allow competition into the Dublin bus market. If the Government had acted on competition when it should, passengers would at least have an alternative choice of transport routes.”