Updated: 01/03/17 : 06:28:33Printable Version
Transport Minister Shane Ross is set to face questions before an Oireachtas committee today over his handling of the Bus Éireann dispute.
Mr Ross will express deep concern at the potential effect of Monday's proposed strike, especially in rural areas, but will call for great care by all parties at what he calls this very delicate time in a potentially serious industrial relations dispute.
However, he's expected to tell the committee that for him to intervene directly in the internal matters of Bus Éireann would constitute unnecessary and unhelpful external interference - as well as cutting across the role of the company and trade unions in agreeing work practices, terms and conditions.The SIPTU and the NBRU unions have announced an all out strike from Monday in response to the company's cost saving measures.
The plan includes two routes being cut and two more being scaled back.
Thousands of commuters will face widespread disruption because of the industrial action.
Labour Party spokesman on Transport Brendan Ryan said that the Minister needs to do more to resolve the crisis.
"He needs to say something beyond 'Look, I can't solve this, I don't have a chequebook'," he said.
"He needs to be more than just an onlooker, he needs to be pressing the parties to get together and to start that with immediate effect."