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Statement by Minister Varadkar and Minister of State Alan Kelly on Dublin Bus

6th October 2013 - Leo Varadkar, TD

“The attempts to agree cost reduction measures at Dublin Bus have clearly been long and difficult, the process having started in June 2012. We commend the grades within Dublin Bus that have already accepted the measures. Every effort has been made to reach agreement with the drivers. These efforts have now gone beyond LRC intervention and Labour Court hearings and there has been a huge push on behalf of all stakeholders to address drivers’ concerns.

“All sides understand and have accepted that the financial challenges facing CIE require cost savings that are fundamental to the group continuing to fund its activities and service its borrowings. Regrettably, this is resulting in change and sacrifices for workers in Dublin Bus and the wider CIE group, as indeed has been the case for the majority of workers throughout the public sector and the private sector over the last few years. Mr Dowling and Mr Courtney have worked independently in an honest attempt to address the concerns of drivers. We ask the drivers to agree to the final proposals that have been made in the interests of the company, Dublin Bus workers and the travelling public.

“We are clear, however, that the outlook for Dublin Bus and its employees is very stark if this final effort does not succeed.

“The Report by Mr Dowling and Mr Courtney points to uncertain outcomes and some of the difficult options that are being considered in these circumstances. If a strike happens, it will be prolonged and it will be very difficult to bring to an end given that all processes have been exhausted. Regardless of how it might end, quite frankly there will be no winners – all sides will be worse off. This is why the response has been so measured and every avenue explored. However, we have to recognise that if Mr Dowling and Mr Courtney’s recommendations are not accepted, no realistic alternatives exist. Unfortunately, more than a year’s negotiation, through all of the industrial relations machinery of the State, has identified no other solution to the financial challenges facing the company. We are hopeful that this final intervention will be successful in reaching an agreed solution.” 

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