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From: John Dunne
Sent: 23 September 2016 14:06
To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ <email@example.com>
Subject: ideology or reality?
The articles in today’s IT, Friday 23rd September, refer.
These articles seem to suggest that the present bus drivers strike at Dublin Bus for higher wages is as a result of either competition or impending competition, low wages, oversupply or some ideological master plan by the Department of Transport to put the State companies out of business!
“Bus Éireann claims routes oversupplied” – the heading on one of these articles – ask the passengers if there is oversupply? Bus Éireann does not seem to understand the concept of competition, or the concept of supply and demand- competition has shown that numbers on these routes have grown, the public have voted with their feet by using other companies and are benefitting from lower prices. These companies are competing not only on price but also on quality of vehicles and service. They are showing that they are sustainable if managed properly-the IT published their profits!
Aer Lingus have shown that they can compete, can survive and can be profitable, the same ideologies were touted against any privatisation of this State company. BE must learn to compete, Aer Lingus did. If BE are to survive they must compete- no more “sugar-daddy” to bail them out!
Another article is headed “is rise in private buses driven by ideology or demand?” It goes on to quote the NBRU and their belief that some ideology is at play- “the wider policy in the Department of Transport (is) to break the hold of the CIE group over public transport provision”-and why not? Surely there should be no “hold” or monopoly over transport provision in this country? The same old ideologies were proffered back when Aer Lingus HAD to be privatised.
The next article headed “competing private bus firms pay less than State company”- perhaps herein is the kernel of the issue, wages! BE (or Dublin Bus), wages are quoted at an average of €52,539 or is it €48,819, and all one can say is how lucky they are to have such fine benefits, including but not mentioned, security of employment. In the real world, the private enterprise world of competition, we have to work within our means with no guarantees or subventions!
Are not subventions to help the disadvantaged gain access to public transport or to provide public transport on loss making routes where a Public Service Obligation is identified regardless of who the provider is? Subventions should not be used to support high and now higher wages!
The Federation of Transport Owners
Ibus plc- the business arm of FOTO