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THE wildcat dispute involving train drivers has been characterised by an appalling quality of communication with the travelling public by all concerned.
Neither the CIE chairman nor the Irish Rail chief executive uttered one syllable of explanation directly to the public concerning the dispute or the dysfunctional state of industrial relations with train drivers that persists during their tenure.
It is simply not acceptable for a major service provider to limit public dialogue on issues of such importance to the soundbites of a communications specialist.
The public has a right to hear the views and explanations of the company leadership directly.
The response of the National Bus and Rail Union was equally pathetic and devoid of discipline and rigour — a clear example of the tail wagging the dog. Their spokesman had no difficulty providing a public fig-leaf for a dispute that had not been sanctioned and the consequences of which were grossly disproportionate to the matter complained of. The union tolds us that, having undertaken to resume service on May 26, the drivers were ‘intimidated’ so they abruptly declined to honour this undertaking.
Perhaps it is time these drivers found alternative sheltered employment where the risk of intimidation is moderate to low, the consequences of honouring public undertakings are immaterial and the tolerance for their impulse to self-indulge is boundless.
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