UP TO 10 bus drivers in Ennis said they were striking in the sunshine today because of ‘heavy-handed’ tactics by their employers.

No busses were operating out of Ennis Bus Station while there were no services on the Dublin-Ennis train line due to the strike action, which has seen some members of Iarnroad Éireann join the picket line in support of their colleagues.

Members of the National Bus And Rail Union striking on the Quin Road today said that while it was disappointing for customers, members of the public have been supportive of the strike action.

Mel Keating, the local union representative, told The Clare People that bus drivers here were left with no option.

“We’re getting a great reaction. People are blowing the horns and waving at us, we’re getting great support,” explained Mr Keating.

“We’re here because, as everybody knows, talks have been going on at the WRC for the last couple of weeks and they suddenly came to an end. Then, there was a game changer on Wednesday, the company called an emergency board meeting and they decided at that meeting to plot ahead with 55 changes without agreement from the trade union and that’s totally against the basis of a trade union organisation in this country, that things are agreed and that’s the way to do business, not this heavy-handed stick approach. So that’s why we’re here today.”

He said that there are roughly 10 union members based in Ennis, adding, “There would be other members that work in Limerick, but reside in Ennis who came along today.

“Sadly our passengers are going to be discommoded, we apologise for that. At the end of the day they’re our customers, we apologise for any inconvenience caused to them but the situation is forced by the company and unfortunately it cannot be helped. We are on the picket line because the company through their heavy-handed approach decided to implement all changes without agreement on Wednesday so we are where we are.”

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Stuart returned to his native county to join The Clare People team as a reporter having spent his 20s studying and working in Dublin with the national media. The Ennis native most recently worked as a subeditor with the Irish Daily Star for three years before which he worked as a subeditor with the Irish Independent and as a reporter with The Evening Herald. He holds a BA in Journalism and Visual Media from Griffith College Dublin. Contact Stuart at [email protected]

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