Bus Éireann workers have today lodged a petition with RTÉ calling for fair coverage of strike action.
The letter, which was drafted and submitted by the Workers’ Party with hundreds of signatures from Bus Éireann workers in Meath, Cork and Dublin, expressed its disappointment at the bias of RTÉ coverage in favour of Bus Éireann management.
“While it comes as no surprise that the billionaire-owned print media would openly and unashamedly take the side of the employer in this dispute, we demand better of our publicly-owned media.”
The workers point to the fact that many journalists and reports in RTÉ are themselves members of the National Union of Journalists, saying:
“Members of the National Union of Journalists in RTÉ have always been shown solidarity and support by the rest of the trade union movement when faced with cuts to their pay and conditions or the threat of redundancy. “
The letter was handed in to Ms. Dee Forbes, Director General of RTÉ, this afternoon (Thursday, 6th April), by the Workers’ Party, and signed by Workers’ Party councillors Éilis Ryan and Ted Tynan, and representatives Gavin Mendel- Gleason and Séamus McDonagh, as well as the Bus Éireann workers.
FULL TEXT OF LETTER SUBMITTED TO RTÉ BY BUS WORKERS AND THE WORKERS’ PARTY MEMBERS
FAO: Ms. Dee Forbes, Director General, RTE
Dear Ms. Forbes,
As transport users, supporters of and workers in Bus Éireann, we would like to communicate our disgust at the repeated anti-worker bias displayed in RTÉ’s coverage of the Bus Éireann strike.
While it comes as no surprise that the billionaire-owned print media would openly and unashamedly take the side of the employer in this dispute, we demand better of our publicly-owned media.
Unfortunately, RTÉ have repeatedly facilitated discussions of the strike where no panel member was in support of the workers’ strike action. In particular, the Marian Finucane show on Sunday 2nd April had a panel which offered intense criticism of the striking workers but little or no criticism of management at the company or the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross. There was scant acknowledgement of the appallingly harsh nature of the proposed cuts to workers’ pay and conditions.
RTÉ is funded using public money and should offer fair treatment of the striking public service workers and balanced discussion of the issue, instead of simply furthering the agenda of management and the government.
Further, members of the National Union of Journalists in RTÉ have always been shown solidarity and support by the rest of the trade union movement when faced with cuts to their pay and conditions or the threat of redundancy.
We would ask that workers in RTÉ who are members of the National Union of Journalists would show the same support for the striking bus workers in SIPTU, NBRU, UNITE and the TSSA.
All union members should recognise the basic principle of the movement – an injury to one is an injury to all.