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(en) Workers Solidarity #76 - Bosses want to privatise buses and trains

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 31 Jul 2003 12:38:53 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

= more profits for the bosses

= traffic jams, pollution and crap service for travellers

= worse pay and conditions for workers

The FF/PD coalition are pushing ahead with plans to privatise
buses and trains. Should we worry, does it matter who the
boss is? Bus and train workers know what's at stake. The vote
for industrial action over the summer was 83.2% in Irish Rail,
87.9% in Bus Eireann, and 90.6% in Dublin Bus.

We have a poor public transport service because it is not
really intended to be a service. It's not there for our
convenience. Its primary goal is to get us into work and into
town to spend our money in the shops. When the private
transport firms were taken over and merged into CIE it was
because they could not even do that.

Years of underinvestment in CIE brought it close to
bankruptcy by the mid-1990s. The government subsidy (much
of it to fund less used but necessary routes) had dropped from
£24 million down to £5.6 million. Only in recent years has
the subsidy been rising again, but it is still a long way behind
most European countries. The average is 50%, in Ireland it is a
mere 11%. Despite all this, and thanks to lots of changes
agreed by bus workers, Dublin Bus made a profit of ¤3.4
million last year.

NBRU and SIPTU workers refused to collect fares on July
18th. This was a great way to hit the government in the pocket
without inconveniencing the rest of us. According to Metroline
chief executive, David O'Farrell, "a promise of free fare days
and one day strikes is not what the public wants". Well he
was wrong about that!

Full support for the bus and train workers is in all our
interests. We don't need privatisation - we do need a free
public transport service, operated for passengers and run by
the people with the best knowledge, the transport workers

This page is from the print version of the
Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

Print out the PDF file of this issue

Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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