Name the date for strike action!

On 23 February, Dublin Bus workers took limited strike action in their ongoing campaign against privatisation. The strike action was organised by union leaders from 11.00am to 3.00pm in order to cause the minimum amount of disruption. In doing so the leaderships of the NBRU and SIPTU have once again angered and frustrated many bus drivers, who correctly don't see the point in taking industrial action which has little effect on the Government.

John McCamley, Dublin Bus driver

Talks on Seamus Brennan's plans to break up CIE and to privatise Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann are fast approaching their 19 March deadline for completion.

Brennan stood in the Dail with this deadline less than three weeks off and fully defended the Government's position and stating that he was committed to privatising 25% of Dublin's bus routes as soon as possible.

Yet what are the leaderships of SIPTU and the NBRU doing in preparation for the likely failure of talks? Nothing. There have been no meetings of Dublin Bus workers called by either of the unions to report back on the talks or to discuss what our options are if they fail.

SIPTU have named 18 March for a day of unspecified industrial action. Dublin Bus drivers are in danger of being led to a major defeat if our union officials are allowed to continue on their current path of inaction and consiliation with the Government.

The 18 March should be named as the date for a one day strike by Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann and Iarnroid Eireann workers if the Government don't abandon their plans. There is also talk that Aer Rianta workers may take industrial action on 18 March. A one day shut down of the country's bus, rail and airport networks, as the signal of the start of a serious campaign of strike action against the privatisation of CIE and Aer Rianta must be campaigned for by all public transport workers.

Activists should call "unofficial" meetings of SIPTU and NBRU members in Dublin Bus to discuss how we can immediately force our union officials to organise a campaign of strike action to defeat the Government.

More industrial articles concerning CIE are available in our sitemap and here as well.

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

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