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Wednesday’s strike by Irish Rail workers affected 150,000 commuters and four more strikes are planned over the next six weeks (Tuesday, November 7; Tuesday, November 14; Thursday, November 23; and Friday, December 8.)
This strike didn’t impact upon me.
Had it done so, I wouldn’t have blamed the striking workers, I would have blamed the
Government and the voices of big business whispering in their ears.
This strike has been just one of a number by public transport workers in recent years.
Both the travelling public and the striking workers are pawns in a plan being implemented by Government.
It amounts to reducing the state subsidy to these entities, until their management is forced to claim that the wage demands of the workers — in this case, a perfectly reasonable 3% over three years, after a decade of no pay rises — will leave the company financially bereft. This is exactly what successive governments have done since 2007.
This strategic underfunding binds all of these strikes, whether it be by Irish Rail, Bus Éireann, or Dublin Bus.
It isn’t difficult to see who the potential victors are: the private operators, who will arrive with the usual plans for increased efficiencies, streamlining, route-rationalisation, and inferior wages and working conditions for their
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