IT must be welcomed that the threatened bus strikes will not now go ahead. The strikes were called off after early-morning talks concluded with an agreement that gave certain protections to workers in the event of routes being privatised.
However, plans to offer some routes operated by State transport companies to open tender will go ahead. New rules will be put in place to govern a new more liberalised bus market but the full extent of these rules is as yet unknown.
As we said previously, any worker would fight to prevent what might have been the spectacular reduction in living standards made probable by privatisation.
However, in a strange way, the unions have cut a rod with which to beat their own backs.
Unless Dublin Bus can implement the kind of reforms and efficiencies that allow it to win a tender on the open market, the issue will not go away.
Rather than believing they have won the war, maybe it would be in the workers’ best interests if they were to show that they can compete in an open market.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved