Travel chaos as strike likely to go ahead
With the Bus Eireann strike for February 20th looking as if it will go ahead it seems that the workers in that particular section of the C.I.E. company will get the overwhelming support from their co-workers in Bus Eireann and Irish Rail. This will mean that public transport in the country will effectively come to a standstill next week. Considering that some bus stations share the same facilities between Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus it is understandable that some people would be loathe to pass a picket that is being manned by people that they work alongside day by day.
The situation in regards to school buses coming out on strike is also up in the air at the moment but it looks that publicly operated school buses will eventually also come out on strike. Whatever way you look at it the Government is heading into dangerous territory over the coming weeks and no matter how much they might like to say that they cannot become involved in what they view as a private industrial matter, that might be the line that they are toeing now but what transport chaos ensues it will be an entirely different matter altogether.
It will be very hard for people who depend on public transport on a daily, and not so daily basis, as they go about their business, however mundane or important it may be. It is also ironic that while as a general public policy the Government is all for people, and indeed more people, using public transport that we now find ourselves in the midst of a general public transport breakdown.
Whether for environmental purposes or indeed just as a better way or running the overall transport system, public transport makes great sense. Of course there will always be grumbles about individual usage and area coverage as well as the always present need for more to be put into infrastructure but public transport does work and does deliver. The management at Bus Eireann might say that they don't have the resources to meet the demands of their workers and that they are trading with huge debts, but let's face it, what else is new when it comes to publicly funded organisations in this country? For many reasons public transport is essential to the good running of this country, as social policy as well as economic and political it works well on a lot of levels. For that you have to pay and for however long the Government might like to distance itself from this forthcoming dispute it will have to engage sooner rather than later.