The failure by the management of Bus Éireann to achieve a resolution to the dispute with workers which has resulted in a sudden strike, has been criticised by the Students Union of Ireland, which has caused travel disruption to not only thousands of people but also to thousands of students traveling this weekend. The USI has in the recent past expressed their solidarity with bus workers on strike and state that their support remains unchanged. Rather the USI has called on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to intervene and find a resolution to the problem. The USI have also warned that a failure to engage would be catastrophic for their members.
USI President Annie Hoey, speaking during the latest short-notice stoppage stated that, “This dispute has gone beyond the dispute between management and workers – it has created a complete gridlock for students seeking to get home and to college. Tens of thousands of students who rely on Bus Éireann and Irish Rail to travel around the country are now faced with Mother’s Day chaos and the prospect of facing into the exam season not knowing if they’ll be able to make critical classes. The failure to negotiate isn’t just causing inconvenience – it’s causing enormous anxiety and stress for people at the most difficult time of the year.” Hoey further elaborated “There are thousands of students who rely on Bus Eireann to go to college, work and even travel home at the weekends. There are students who are parents who need to get to college and home to their families. There are students who rely on the already poor public transport routes around Ireland to travel. We urge management and our Government to come to a resolution with workers, and firmly do not believe that workers should have their wages cut to plug the gap”
The Union of Students in Ireland has also called on Minister Ross to immediately release a statement outlining how he intends to deal with the crisis.