3 February 2017
By Bryan Smyth
The Workers’ Party in Cork have launched a campaign to fight proposed cuts at Bus Éireann and to oppose government and management plans to – in the words of the party – “privatise the company or hand the most profitable routes over to private competitors”
The Workers’ Party distributed more than 3,000 leaflets in Cork city centre yesterday (Thursday) and will be on the city’s streets again today as part of its ongoing campaign. The 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. The Workers Party campaign will be rolled out in other areas of the country in the coming days and weeks.
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”