To ask the Minister for Transport the discussions he has had with trade unions representing CIE workers in regard to his proposals to split the company into three independent companies; the steps he intends to take to keep workers informed, especially having regard to the disruption to public transport arising from the demonstration by workers concerned that they had not been informed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Róisín Shortall.
For PRIORITY answer on Wednesday, 5th February, 2003.
Ref No: 2895/03
Answered by the Minister for Transport
When I announced my proposals for public transport reform to the Public Transport Partnership Forum on 7th November last year, I indicated that it was my intention that the restructuring of CIE should be implemented in a spirit of partnership and consultation. Since then I have had a series of discussions with representatives of the CIE unions. I met with the N.B.R.U. on the 11th of November 2002 and with a joint I.C.T.U. and S.I.P.T.U. delegation on the 5th of December 2002.
I met with the CIE Board, including the worker directors, on the 11th of December 2002. I subsequently arranged for the CIE Board and CIE unions to be briefed on the technical study commissioned by my Department on the restructuring of the companies. I also met each of the subsidiary boards on the 27th, 28th and 29th of January.
On the 21st of January, I wrote to unions renewing my invitation to meet at any time. Following on from that I again met with representatives of the unions yesterday.
I had a lengthy and useful meeting with the trade unions yesterday during which it was agreed that there would be bilateral discussions between my Department and the trade unions to explore the reform of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area. The objective is to conclude these discussions by the end of March
During that meeting I invited the trade unions to submit a short paper to the Restructuring Implementation Group which I will be convening shortly, identifying their principal concerns about the restructuring of CIE.