The Workers’ Partyhave launched a campaign to fight proposed cuts at Bus Éireann and to oppose government and management plans to privatise the company or hand the most profitable routes over to private competitors.
The campaign started in Cork yesterday (Friday) and the party distributed more than 3,000 leaflets in Cork city centre. Member will be on the city’s streets again today as part of its ongoing campaign which will be rolled out in other parts of the country over the coming days and weeks.
The Workers’ Party leaflet outlines the background to the current situation and calls on bus users to make their opposition to the cuts known to the government and especially to Transport Minister Shane Ross who is the sole shareholder of the company on behalf of the Irish people.
Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said that the current crisis at Bus Éireann has been entirely manufactured by the government and senior company management as part of a wider plan to hand over the most profitable routes to private operators. The company, he said, was wrongly being portrayed as a drain on the economy when in fact it receives less state funding than the private horse racing industry.
Cllr. Tynan said the party had received a positive response to its campaign from both Bus Éireann workers and the general public in Cork yesterday. “There is a very clear awareness out there that Bus Éireann is at the receiving end of a massive organised attack. The demand from the company’s new CEO for €30 million in cuts would devastate its services and it would be left serving only unprofitable routes.”
“The result of this would be the collapse of what was left of the company and will mean cuts in many urban and rural bus routes, massive job losses and poorer conditions of employment for the remaining skeleton workforce. None of this surprises us when we note that the new CEO of Bus Éireann, Ray Hernan, was previously director of finance at Ryanair, a company with a long record of hostility towards the public sector and its employees”
The Workers’ Party campaign is being co-ordinated by John Bowen, a retired Bus Éireann employee and an ex- president of Cork Council of Trade Unions.
Campaign coordinator John Bowen can be contacted at Tel: (085) 872 1228 and the leaflet can be downloaded WP Bus Eireann leaflet