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Transport minister Varadkar caving in to bus and rail strikes?

patslatt

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Newstalk today reported that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had appealed for more talks between unions and management to head off announced strikes. This appeal was made even though about 60 meetings on budget cuts have already occured between Dublin Bus and its management and the Labour Court has made its findings on cost cutting issues. Varadkar should be criticising the stubbornness of union negotiating positions,not undermining management's authority with a call for pointless further talks.

So what is Varadkar up to? To preserve a trouble free CV as minister? To prompt a government cave in and increased subsidies for transport? To avoid a showdown with the unions like President Reagan's showdown with air traffic controllers?

A Reagan style showdown is feasible given the number of unemployed people and underemployed taxi drivers who would leap at the chance of a high paying bus driving job. A crash course could train enough bus drivers in a month to replace any who insisted on striking. As for train drivers,they must be easier to replace than air traffic controllers. The public sector unions need to realise that 1970s style strikes won't be tolerated by contemporary Irish society.

PS Industry statistics including wages http://www.publicpolicy.ie/dublin-bus-funding-and-financial-performance/ At US$37,600 (dollar used for Europe wide comparison),Dublin Bus drivers net wages (presumably after payroll deductions) in 2012 were the second highest in Europe,way higher than in Paris,for example. Post 625,page 63 below, quotes the Irish Times figure for far higher wages than $37,600 on a gross basis.
 
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Dame_Enda

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Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus should be privatised.
 

Mattarigna

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Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus should be privatised.
How would a Private monopoly reduce costs for passengers? Would private companies not just maximise their profits and milk it for all it's worth? That would be like the time when we privatised electricity, and then went from having some of the lowest electricity prices in the EU to among the highest.
 

Dame_Enda

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How would a Private monopoly reduce costs for passengers? Would private companies not just maximise their profits and milk it for all it's worth? That would be like the time when we privatised electricity, and then went from having some of the lowest electricity prices in the EU to among the highest.
Both companies should be broken up and sold. That way there's no monopoly.

Similar dire predictions have been disproved in London.

We haven't "privatised electricity". :roll: The ESB companies remain in state ownership and are in reality a monopoly because their competitors are forced to use their grid. For true competition, the ESB should lose control of the grid, while the rest of the company should be sold off. That way the grid can't be denied to ESB's competitors.
 

Mattarigna

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Both companies should be broken up and sold. That way there's no monopoly.
Great - then we'd have little in the way of a bus service in most rural areas, and you'd have tons of different bus routes by loads of different bus companies in Dublin and other urban areas. Trying to figure out the Dublin bus routes is already complicated enough as it is. Most developed countries have a functional public bus service - heck, even a lot of developing countries have them.
 

shiel

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RTE news seemed to accuse him of doing the opposite.

The rock and the hard place.

But he took the job.
 

Mattarigna

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We haven't "privatised electricity". :roll: The ESB companies remain in state ownership and are in reality a monopoly because their competitors are forced to use their grid. For true competition, the ESB should lose control of the grid, while the rest of the company should be sold off. That way the grid can't be denied to ESB's competitors.
That still doesn't explain how we ended up with much higher electricity prices after we allowed competitors. Wouldn't the logical thing to do is to reverse the decision to open up the electricity market?
 

hammer

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Utility prices would be a lot higher if Airtricity wasn`t in the market or Energia for that matter.
 

controller

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Average wage €46,190 in that thread.
Which I'm sure includes all senior managers. Wages and salaries for the year 2012 were €148876. Average number of employees was 3236. That is where the average wage comes from. It is not the average wage of a bus driver
 

Dame_Enda

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That still doesn't explain how we ended up with much higher electricity prices after we allowed competitors. Wouldn't the logical thing to do is to reverse the decision to open up the electricity market?
We already had the highest prices in Europe before the govt pretended to open it up to competition.

Why prices are so high? The average ESB wage is €75000.
 

Mattarigna

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Utility prices would be a lot higher if Airtricity wasn`t in the market or Energia for that matter.
Actually, Electricity prices in Ireland was among the lowest in Europe before we opened the market.
 


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