McCluskey says struggle crucial to future of public transport
It was revealed today (Tuesday 28 March) that Unite has amassed a £35 million strike fund to support members during industrial disputes. The news comes as workers in Bus Éireann are on a fifth day of industrial action in protest at the unilateral imposition of a cuts package.
Commenting Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Public transport workers are at the frontline in the battle against creeping privatisation, and attempts to drive down terms and conditions.
“The issues underlying the current dispute in Bus Éireann - including the scandalously low level of public subvention to a crucial public service - have implications for the future of Ireland’s public transport system as a whole.
“As our members spend another day on the picket lines, they need to know that they have the full support of 1.4 million Unite members across Britain and Ireland.
“Over a number of years, Unite has amassed a £35 million strike fund to support members during industrial disputes. I am sending a clear message to employers: when our members are in dispute, they not only have right on their side – they also have financial might on their side.
“I hope that the Irish Government will see sense, start treating Bus Éireann as the vital strategic asset it is, and invest in its services accordingly. But our members will not be bullied to the table by threats.
“They are fighting not only for their own futures, but for the right of communities throughout Ireland to a decent public transport system that provides a quality service and quality jobs. They have my full support in that battle - and the backing of a £35 million strike fund.”
For further information please contact Ireland Regional Officer Willie Quigley on +353-86-8338531 or Alex Klemm Ireland press office on +353-87-2606139 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.