Bríd Smith: Bus Éireann strike important for Ireland like miners' strike was for UK

Workers have now been on strike for more than week over proposed cost-cutting measures at the company

Bríd Smith: Bus Éireann strike important for Ireland like miners' strike was for UK

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith. Image: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

People Before Profit says the Bus Éireann strike is like a miners' strike for Ireland.

The party is holding its annual conference at Wynn's Hotel in Dublin today, and they have invited Bus Éireann workers along to make their case.

Workers at the company have been on an all-out strike for more than a week, with union members refusing to accept cost-cutting measures being put forward by management.

Almost all of the company's services around the country have been impacted, and school bus drivers - who are currently not on strike - are being balloted for industrial action.

PBP TD Bríd Smith says her party can understand - and even applaud - the wildcat action hit commuters on Friday.

The dispute spread without warning to Irish Rail and Dublin Bus services during the morning rush hour, with secondary pickets at depots bringing rail & bus services to a virtual standstill for several hours. 

Deputy Smith compared the ongoing industrial action to the miners' strike in the UK in the 1980s, which shut down the country's coal industry for almost a year.

"Just like the miners' strike was important for Britain, this is important for us," she argued.

"We welcome the fact that the strike was escalated, and that people feel empowered and strong enough to say we're going to close down the capital because you're not listening to us."

She suggested: "Really they weren't listening until Friday. They didn't care about the fact that Cork, Waterford, Galway, Limerick and all the rural towns were without a proper public bus service"