Labour Party calls for new body to resolve Dublin Bus and similar disputes

24 September 2016

The Labour Party will this week table a proposal during Private Members’ Time in the Seanad in an effort to resolve the Dublin Bus dispute and other industrial relations issues in the public transport sector.

According to Ged Nash, Labour Party spokesperson on Labour Affairs and Workers’ Rights, this proposal would see the establishment of an appropriate high level expert body representing both workers and employers, and allow for a resolution to disputes such as the ongoing Dublin Bus action.

“There is no longer any body in place in Ireland, representing both workers and employers at the very highest level, that could be asked to oversee industrial peace and stability and to consider broader industrial relations questions.

“We have independent and respected state bodies such as the Workplace Relations Commissions that do important and essential work on the industrial relations front.

“However, given the complexities and the broader underlying public policy issues in the background, it is time for fresh and innovative thinking.

“In this respect, it is crucial that a high-level Employer-Labour Conference initiative is taken to help to narrow the gap between the trade unions and Dublin Bus and to develop a framework for the resolution of this damaging dispute. This initiative would have utility beyond the current public transport challenges and is required now more than ever.

“We are also calling for a roadmap for the restoration of the public subsidy back to pre-crisis levels, and we believe that a multi-annual approach to funding bodies such as Dublin Bus would allow for a much more stable and enduring agreement between staff and management. An intervention of this nature by government is vital to restore confidence.

“Having referred to his transport brief as a doddle, it is extraordinary that Shane Ross has yet to publish his priorities as a Minister, despite previously promising that he would have this done by September.

“Adding to that his failure to meet with Dublin Bus for months after his appointment as a Minister, it is clear that Shane Ross is asleep behind the wheel. He may not be ready to think of any solutions to the current dispute, but the Labour Party is.

Out of his depth and out of ideas, we are happy to assist the Minister who is clearly struggling to get a handle on things and to map a way forward for public transport in the public interest.

“The proposals we are publishing today are a sensible approach that can see Dublin Bus workers get back to work, allow public transport to be fully restored for the people of Dublin, and give us a framework into the future to resolve disputes before they escalate to this degree.”

The full text of the Labour Party motion can be accessed at:

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