Government can help unemployed Dublin Bus staff – Donohoe

16th January, 2009

Dublin Central Senator and Seanad Transport Spokesman Paschal Donohoe has expressed his sympathy to the 290 Dublin Bus workers being laid off in a round of cutbacks announced today (Friday) by the company.

However, Senator Donohoe said there is hope for the workers if Transport Minister Noel Dempsey scrap the Government’s opposition to private sector bus operators, who could take over some routes and provide alternative employment to the 290 workers.

“The 120 job losses is a major blow for the dedicated staff at Dublin Bus. The workers have my full sympathies as they face a difficult future in the midst of a recession. Commuters will also suffer from the withdrawal of 120 buses, which will have a significant impact on routes and services.

“However, there is hope for both workers and passengers if Minister Dempsey abandons his long-held opposition to private bus operators. The Government should move immediately to set up the Dublin Transport Authority, and instruct it to find alternative operators for the routes and services which are being axed. This would provide alternative employment for the experienced staff laid off by Dublin Bus.

“This unfortunate news at Dublin Bus is the result of years of dithering by Fianna Fáil on reforming Dublin’s public transport system. These large-scale lay-offs and the withdrawal of 120 buses could have been
avoided if the succession of Fianna Fáil Transport Ministers, and Dublin Bus management, had addressed the company’s inefficiencies years ago.

“Now that the company now finds itself backed into a corner, it’s the staff who are in the firing line. The new cost effectiveness plan announced by management should have been implemented years ago.”