dagda at SPAMeircom.net
Wed Aug 9 15:50:57 MDT 2000
ireland.com - The Irish Times - IRELAND
IRELAND Wednesday, August 09, 2000
Wednesday, August 9, 2000
stranded by picket
By Barry Roche, in Cork
An estimated 20,000 commuters were left stranded in Cork city yesterday
morning when members of the Irish Locomotive Drivers Association mounted a
picket outside the main Bus Éireann depot in the city which led to the
disruption of most city and some country bus services.
Approximately 60 bus drivers - members of SIPTU and the NBRU - refused to
pass the picket at the Capwell Garage at about 5.30 a.m. by four members
of ILDA. The picket remained until 9 a.m. when bus services around the
city began to return to normal.
According to a Bus Éireann sales executive, Mr Denis Burke, about
two-thirds of Bus Éireann's services were affected. Only longdistance
country services where drivers were bringing in buses ran according to
schedule. "This unofficial picket took us unawares and we want to let the
public know that it has nothing to do with Bus Éireann. Some dri vers
decided not to pass the pic ket and we regret the inconveni ence it
caused." He said the protest hit services at a peak time. According to
ILDA sources, yesterday's protest was born out of frustration at the
failure of the Government and the Minister for Public Enterprise, Ms
O'Rourke, to intervene in the dispute bet ween the association and Iarnród
Éireann which has entered its eighth week.
ILDA member Mr Tom Loughnane said he had no doubt the dispute would be
resolved by now if it had affected Dublin services. "Dublin Bus went on
strike on their own problems last week for three hours - they were al
lowed to go back on their old rosters and old conditions.
"We can't - they won't allow us to do it - just till this thing is sorted
out. We'd go back to work right now, this minute, if they would allow us
on our old rosters, that's all we're asking until this thing is sorted
out, one way or the other. It's not too much to ask for now at this stage,
Cork North Central Fine Gael TD Mr Bernard Allen said he too believed the
dispute would have been resolved by now if it was affecting Dublin
services. "I think if this was affecting the public in Dublin as seriously
as it's affecting people in the provinces, talks would have taken place
long before now."
There were fears last night that ILDA members might resume their
unofficial picket of the Eireann Capwell Depot later this week, although a
spokesman for the asso ciation could not be contacted to confirm if the
group had further protests planned.
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