SIPTU has written today (Tuesday, 15th July) to the new Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, seeking an early meeting to discuss plans to tender out up to 10% of routes operated by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus. SIPTU Utilities and Construction Division Organiser, Owen Reidy, said: “As the largest union organising and representing workers in the three CIE companies, we believe that it is essential to engage in discussions with the new Minister on this flawed plan which the National Transport Authority intends to implement. Following meetings with the NTA it is clear that there are gaps in this plan and it has not been clearly thought through. We want to impress upon the new Minister that to proceed with the plan as is will be a bad deal for the tax payer, for the travelling public and also for the workers in both CIE companies. “It is critical that the Government learn from previous mistakes such as the privatising of the waste collection service.  In that case what has resulted is an inconsistent and fragmented service for customers. Is this really the route we wish to follow with our public transport system? The current NTA plan would impede citizens’ right to have a decent, regulated and integrated transport system. It would also inevitably lead to industrial unrest.” Owen Reidy added: “SIPTU members in both companies have made contributions to two restructuring plans which have yielded significant savings in recent years. Our members didn’t do this to then see the NTA unravel the public transport system. We will do all we have to in order to defend what we consider to be citizens' right to a decent public transport system with proper labour standards for its workers. We look forward to engaging with the new Minister on this matter”.