Brid Smith TD today welcomed the overwhelming vote for strike action by Dublin Bus drivers and members of the NBRU .
Noting the huge majority in favor of industrial action in pursuit of a pay claim, (over 96% voted in favour), Deputy Smith said the vote reflected the anger not just of bus workers but also reflected a wider sentiment among many workers who have also faced years of pay freezes, cuts and austerity taxes.
“I’m delighted my former colleague in the NBRU have given their union this mandate. After eight years of cuts, concessions and stealth taxes they very much need and deserve a decent pay rise. Unfortunately the Labour Court recommendation was an insult to a group of workers that are effectively owed 6% from past pay deals that were never honored, let alone a decent rise to reflect the sacrifices and cuts they have endured on top of that since 2008”
Deputy Smith also noted that Dublin Bus had returned to profit over the last three years, posting over 23 million euro in profits since 2013. “Given that this comes on the back of huge Government cuts in subsidies to the whole CIE group its a remarkable achievement, paid for both by the workers and the travelling public via fare increases and increased productivity, and only possible because of the work of those drivers and other Dublin Bus workers. Neither the Government nor the company have any excuse not to make a decent offer and pay these drivers” she said. “All talk of a recovery is meaningless unless workers can share in it and unless we raise wages across the economy. Profits and GDP rises will not butter any bread for ordinary workers, we need pay rises and a sharing of the wealth after years of austerity”