Unions criticised by drivers in Harristown bus depot

 

THE MOST vocal of the 100 or so Dublin Bus drivers on unofficial strike at Harristown depot in north Co Dublin yesterday were extremely critical of their unions.

One driver, who described himself as a “union rep”, was applauded by colleagues when he criticised the National Bus and Rail Union and Siptu.

“We are being badly let down by the hierarchy in both unions. They should be up here,” he said.

“People up here are now asking the question: why are they paying €4.50 a week when we can’t get officials up here to represent us?”

Another driver complained: “We all pay our dues. They’re not backing us.”

However, when the dispute ended yesterday afternoon, a driver who had taken part in the protest said he was glad to be returning to work.

“You had a faction of militant drivers there that wouldn’t agree to whatever case you put in front of them,” he said.

“I’m glad that we’re back at work because that’s where we should be. Let’s call a spade a spade. We have to change because our economy’s changing.”

He said drivers on the 128 Clongriffin to Rathmines route should operate the new schedule and if it was not working it could be changed. Earlier, drivers had huddled around radios to hear what was being said about the strike. One driver said he did not recognise the descriptions of striking drivers as “wild cats” and “vigilantes”.

He said: “We’re not all iron fists here, I don’t know whether it’s supposed to be right-wing or left-wing or what.”

He insisted they did not want to inconvenience passengers.

“Nobody likes putting people out. At the end of the day nobody likes standing at the gate and losing a day’s pay.

“We’re not getting paid standing here at all. We’ve all got families. I love my job.”