Dublin Bus strikes: ‘It is absolutely shocking’

Commuters give their opinions on the latest 48-hour work stoppage in the pay dispute

 Idle Dublin Bus vehicles  outside the Broadstone Depot during the latest strike by company workers in a pay dispute. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Idle Dublin Bus vehicles outside the Broadstone Depot during the latest strike by company workers in a pay dispute. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Gareth Mac Neice was able to cycle to work during last week’s bus strikes but was forced to walk on Thursday morning after he damaged his bike. He walked half the way into the city centre before jumping in a taxi for the final few miles.

He says he’s happy to cycle from his home in Killester into the city centre for the time being but does not support the continuation of the bus strike into next month.

“The bus drivers want a bit more money but the way they’re going about it is absolutely shocking.

“They’re affecting everyone, and I can understand why they’re doing it, but if they do 11 days [of strikes] as far as I’m concerned they should all be sacked.

“There’s people looking for jobs, people who have licences. Let them take the jobs and train them in and they’d be happy with the money they get.

“I work hard for less than half of what they get so I’ve no sympathy for them. They don’t have half as hard a job as I do.

“Ok, they deal with people but they’re behind a door. But I work in a shop, I have to deal with drunks who come in and anything can happen to me.

“They have money, be happy with what you’re getting. There’s people who work a lot harder for a lot less and that’s the way I look at it.

“If I have to I’ll just hop on the bike. If there’s no buses it’s safer for me to cycle anyway.”

Pauline Coffey’s husband drove her from their home in Celbridge, Co Kildare, to Maynooth train station for 6.50am on Thursday so she could catch a train into the city centre.

He is going to pick her up from the train station this evening but will be unable to continue giving her lifts if the strikes continue.

Pauline says: “Everyone has a legitimate right to strike and I’m sure like everyone else they’ve suffered after the Celtic Tiger . . . without any pay rises.

“But really I think it’s a little bit unrealistic what they’re looking for and they should really negotiate at this stage rather than threatening the country with 11 days of further strikes.

“It’s very frustrating. I’m very lucky. That’s not to say on an 11-day run [of strikes] I would have the facility to [handle] that, so I might have to take annual leave days if that’s the case.

“Having said that, I think Dublin’s city is much more beautiful without buses in it. I was walking down and thinking this city is so beautiful but you just don’t see it with all these buses trundling by. The noise level’s gone, it’s brilliant.”

Caitriona Gillman got a lift with her dad to the Luas stop on Thursday morning but arrived for classes at DIT an hour early.

“I understand why they’re doing it because I know that they haven’t had a pay rise since I think it’s 2008 and after the Luas strikers getting the increase you can understand.

“But at the same time it’s such a hassle and people are arriving late to work and college because of it. If they do get the pay rise it will eventually be that the fares will increase.

“But at the same time fares have been increasing over the past few years and they haven’t gotten anything from that. I do understand and I think they are entitled to a pay rise.”

Vanya Svelc says she supports the bus drivers even though she had to walk from her home in Sandymount to a Dart station on Thursday afternoon instead of jumping on the Number 1 bus outside her home.

“I fully support them,” she says.

She says she would still support the workers if the strikes continue but that it is “annoying” for transport customers.

“But if someone doesn’t stand up for themselves then who will?”

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