Socialist Worker 392

Dublin Bus workers, drivers and other Dublin bus employees, held a very successful 2-day strike on Thursday and Friday 8/9 September. They have more action planned for the weeks ahead.

The bus workers have a rock solid case for their 21% pay claim over three years. They have had no pay rise since 2008. They have been owed a 6% pay increase since 2008. Many Dublin Bus drivers work a thirteen hour day plus they have had cuts to their overtime payments and a reduction in staff numbers.

Meanwhile Dublin Bus made €23 million surplus over the last two years.

The supposedly neutral, but actually pro-employer, Labour Court recommendation of 2.75% per year for three years is completely inadequate, especially when the government never stops talking about ‘the recovery’.

People Before Profit TDs – Bríd Smith, Gino Kenny and Richard Boyd Barrett –   have been in the forefront of mobilising support for the bus workers. They issued a public call to Transport Minister Shane Ross and Dublin Bus to ‘Pay the Drivers’ and all joined the workers on the picket lines.

Brid Smith TD, herself a former Dublin Bus worker, stated “This claim is actually quite modest considering that these workers have had no rise since 2008 and have, like every other worker in the country, faced stealth taxes and cuts. If there a recovery, workers must feel some of the benefits too. Hopefully  their stance will inspire other groups to organise and seek decent pay rises after the years of austerity cuts”

Gino Kenny TD said “it’s a farcical situation that a company is doing so well that the state agency (NTA) can take back 2 million in subsidies last year. A company that has posted 23 million in profits since 2014 has no excuse not to deliver a meagre 5% per year for their workers”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, pointed out that in the same week that the government is spending millions trying to help Apple not pay its taxes, it seems happy to force bus workers to strike for a pay rise after 8 years of cuts and pay freezes.

Bríd Smith also supported the bus workers’ claim and their strong action in debate with a IBEC Director of Employee Relations on Drivetime.

Socialist Worker urges all its readers and all workers and trade unionists to back the Dublin Bus workers and support their picket lines.

The simple fact is the more support and solidarity they receive the more they are likely to win, and the more they win the better for all of us. After eight years of austerity, charges and pay freeze all workers need a pay rise.

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