The Drivers in Dublin Bus who have served strike notice, beginning from midnight Sunday 4th August, are 100% right to stand up to the company’s planned cuts to their earnings and working conditions. Apart from the obvious cuts in sick days and overtime payments the deal on offer in effect gives the company a blank cheque on future schedules and issues like traveling time that could have serious effects on every driver’s working conditions. This deal is a clear indication of the race to the bottom policy being pursued by management at Dublin Bus it will allow the company to recruit new drivers on much reduced pay and on a part time basis.
The workers are facing a huge cut to their take home pay as a result of cuts to overtime payments and a deterioration of their conditions. Dublin Bus workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action because they simply cannot afford this attack on their wages.
This attack on working conditions by Management at Dublin Bus must be seen in its wider context of attacks on working people in general. Ever since the ‘bailout’ ordinary people have been forced into paying the debts of very wealthy people, through taxes and cut backs. While the wealth of the top 5% has continuously increased since the crisis began. This recession is being used as an excuse to take back from workers the wages, entitlements and the vital public services they fought for over generations. The state’s decision to cut subsidy to public transport is based on diverting this money to pay for the bailout while they put in place plans to privatise the service.
The trade union movement need to use their resources to defend the right to strike and appeal for solidarity from the general public as no doubt the national media will try hard to discredit the strikers. It is vital that union leaders use their voice to explain the real issues at stake here and encourage every one to stand with the Bus Workers in their battle against policies which are part of an attack on all of us.