SIPTU representatives have expressed disappointment at the failure of the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, to agree on a date to meet workers to discuss the worsening situation concerning abuse and anti-social behaviour on the public transport network. 

SIPTU Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “We have received an acknowledgement from the Minister’s office indicating that it received our letter seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the SIPTU Respect Transport Workers campaign and the disturbing issues it has highlighted concerning abuse of our members.”

He added: “The Minister’s lack of action is in stark contrast to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications which has confirmed that SIPTU representatives and members will address it concerning the Respect Transport Workers campaign in April.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Murphy, said: “The Minister must take on board the growing concerns of our members working on the public transport network. Our initial survey of members working on the public transport system on the issue of abuse and antisocial behaviour returned the disturbing statistic that more than 80% of them said it was of concern with more than half saying the problem had got worse in the last year. 

“We are currently undertaking more detailed research on the nature of the issues our members are facing and why they have got worse, specifically after the period when pandemic restrictions were lifted. We believe there are ways of dealing effectively with these issues, but it will take a joined-up approach from the companies, unions, National Transport Authority and government to achieve a safer transport network.”

He added: “SIPTU members employed across the public transport network are more than willing to do their bit but they need to be shown the respect of proper engagement with the other stakeholders.”