SIPTU members have rejected a plan presented by the management of Bus Éireann to workers this evening (Wednesday, 18th January) and condemned it as a blueprint for the destruction of the company as a viable organisation. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Willie Noone, said: “As has been the practice of management throughout the last few weeks these proposals were aired in the media prior to staff being informed of them. The plan presented to workers today is horrendous and totally unacceptable. “Management should remember that a mandate for industrial action has already been attained from SIPTU members. Such action will be activated in circumstances where the company proceeds to implement plans that would erode conditions of employment that have been attained by our members over the last number of decades. “For a semi-state company to issue such an ill thought out set of proposals after months of inertia is completely unacceptable. This plan would effectively introduce casualisation of work, redeployment of workers to wherever the company wants, destroy the pension scheme, reduce staff numbers as well as introduce privatisation and outsourcing of work. “The proposals would undermine the integrity of all categories of workers in Bus Éireann, especially clerical staff, by effectively stating they are overpaid. It would reduce currently meagre shift and premium payments and expects workers to accept everything the company wants without question.” He added: “The credibility and motives of the new management of Bus Éireann has to be seriously questioned when it is offering to pay some employees 1%, 2% or 3% of a rise, on reduced incomes when cash flow allows, in return for them accepting a real pay cut of up to 30% now. This offer is both crass and stupid and it will get the reaction that it deserves from our members. “SIPTU members will not be accepting these proposals as sought or as an apparent pre-condition to meeting with management on 24th January. The attempt by management to reconvene the Labour Court to consider the situation at Bus Éireann is deplorable. The same management refused to engage with the Labour Court on 6th December 2016 and none of these proposals have even been discussed with the workers’ trade unions at this stage. “With this type of management approach the future of Bus Éireann is indeed in a dire situation. SIPTU members will work with their colleagues in the other Bus Éireann unions to do whatever is necessary to protect the services they provide and workers’ pay and conditions."