Updated: 29/03/17 : 06:53:09
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New calls for Transport Minister's intervention in bus strike

There are new calls for the Transport Minister to intervene amid fears the Bus Éireann strike could spread to Irish Rail and Dublin Bus.

SIPTU has warned it will ballot its CIE members to strike in solidarity with their colleagues after indications Bus Éireann may be considering compulsory job losses.

Workers from across the sector will stage a lunchtime protest today to coincide with the Minister's appearance at the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

Sinn Féin's transport spokesperson Imelda Munster is accusing the Government of deliberately allowing the situation to develop.

She said: "Minister Ross has to step up and take his position as minister seriously and to recognise that our current crisis is much more than a n industrial dispute.

"What it is in essence is about the future of our public transport in this State.

"What's come to light over recent months is that it is Government policy to decimate our public transport network, along with a race to the bottom on workers' rights, in order to groom it for privatisation."

The organisers of today's protest say they want to send a strong message to the Transport Minister.

Willie Quigley of the Unite Trade Union says it is time for government intervention in the Bus Éireann dispute.

He said: "And I think these workers in the sister companies and the workers in Bus Éireann will send a very, very strong message to the minister that there needs to be an intervention of some sort here.

"It shouldn't have to take until this for that intervention to happen."