No to privatisation

Save our public services

CIE, Aer Rianta: for a co-ordinated campaign of strike action

Seamus Brennan showed his true colours when he went out of his way to appeal to the EU not to fine Ryanair for receiving an underhand state subsidy from Charleloi airport. That's because Brennan and the rest of this pro-big business Government are hell bent on selling off our public services to spivs like O'Leary.

Workers in the public sector are facing into a major battle against privatisation. Aer Rianta, CIE and Aer Lingus are all being prepared for the auctioneer's hammer. And if the Government gets away with it, our public transport services will be destroyed.

By Stephen Boyd

Brennan is trying to force through the privatisation of 25% of Dublin's bus services, but that will only be the start. The Government's aim is to fully privatise the country's bus services. For the general public it will mean higher fares - the service will deteriorate - if you doubt this then look at what has happened to Britain's privatised bus service.

The future for transport workers is clearly shown by Aircoach. Bus drivers for the private bus company Aircoach have to work 12 hour shifts, they can only take a toilet break if they are ahead of schedule and they must pay for ALL damages to the bus they drive!

Aer Lingus and Aer Rianta workers can look forward to having anti-union and low paying employers like Michael O'Leary of Ryanair for their boss if they are privatised.

Jack O'Connor, SIPTU President, bent over backwards to stop Aer Rianta workers from striking on the day of the visit of the EU ministers. In Dublin Bus and CIE once again SIPTU and the leaders of the NBRU decided to go into meaningless talks rather that back their members call for strike action.

Our public transport services can be saved from the profiteers. Workers in CIE and Aer Rianta have voted for strike action. Last July's no fares day showed how much support there was amongst the general public for the CIE workers.

Now is the time for a co-ordinated campaign of industrial action including strike action to shut down the country's whole public transport system. Workers in Dublin Bus, CIE and Aer Rianta must demand mass union meetings at which they can force their spineless union leaders to stop the talking and take action. This is an extremely weak and unpopular government. A campaign by public transport workers could mobilise the support of the majority of working class people and bring an end to Fianna Fail and the PD's public services sell-off!

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This article is from the Feb. 2004 edition of Socialist Voice.

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