Robert Troy has described the breakdown in talks between trade unions and Bus Éireann management as a “worrying development” which only serves to prolong the dispute.
The Longford-Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD made the comments as the all-out strike at the semi-state company entered its 18th day.
“The breakdown of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission is disappointing as there was a feeling in recent days that some progress was being made,” he said.
“The industrial action has been ongoing for nearly three weeks and some 100,000 people right across the country have been left without a transport service.
“These people are growing increasingly frustrated by the failure of unions and management to strike a compromise to help bring the industrial action to an end.”
Mr Troy, who is the Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Transport said the decision to refer the dispute to the Labour Court was the right move given Bus Éireann’s financial plight.
“There is a real prospect that Bus Éireann may be forced to enter into administration in the coming days should the dispute remain unresolved,” he said.
“This would be a disaster for passengers, workers and Bus Éireann as a company.
“There is an onus on both unions and management to proactively engage with the Labour Court and give firm commitments that they will accept its final ruling.”
Not for the first time, Mr Troy had strong words for his opposite number and Ministerial counterpart, Shane Ross.
The Independent Alliance TD has continued to spurn calls to intervene in the dispute, something Mr Troy was especially critical of.
“It’s disappointing to see Minister Ross continue to take a completely hands off approach to this dispute,” he said.
“The Minister has been aware of the deep structural problems facing Bus Éireann for nearly a year now.
“Despite this he failed to take corrective action and has allowed the company to reach a cliff edge.
“Tens of thousands of passengers in areas such as Cork, Limerick and Galway are furious with the approach he has taken to date.”