The workers at Bus Eireann face an annual loss of income of €3,000 to €4,000 if the company are successful in imposing the cuts in pay premia and conditions. This is simply unaffordable and the workers have clearly been left with no alternative but to take this stand.
We say simply that just as working people in general should not be made pay for the crisis in this country through failed austerity policies the workers in Bus Eireann and indeed the other CIE companies where similar attacks are in the pipeline should not be made responsible for cuts in the government subsidy, fuel price rises and mismanagement by the top brass which has allowed the private sector to encroach on the most profitable parts of what should be an entirely publicly run transport system.
Solidarity by SIPTU and TSSA members whose unions have not yet sanctioned official action in terms of not crossing the pickets that are being mounted by NBRU members is necessary to maximise the effectiveness of the action.
There are clear signs the company want to cut across the effectiveness of the action by using private coach firms to scab. An urgent practical discussion is needed involving the Bus Eireann workers on the ground with support from the wider trade movement movement and sympathetic working people who oppose austerity about what kind of protest action is needed to disrupt strike breaking efforts.
Likewise if this strike becomes prolonged there is a duty for the wider trade movement and the left to raise funds and do what is necessary to build support in wider society to help sustain the struggle until victory is achieved.
Croke Park II, the abolition of Registered Employment Agreements by the Supreme Court and the offensive by the CIE top management together with the imposition of the property tax taken together has to be seen as a frontal assault by the establishment on working people. Bus Eireann workers tomorrow are in the front line of this class war. We should all support them.