The present labour agitation at Dublin Bus is driven, to a large extent, by trade union leaders trying to justify their huge salaries and showing their claws.
Trade unions have no place amongst the major employers in this country where workers are well represented by committees. The weak position of the present government, due to the idiotic — and, in some cases, vindictive — voting patterns in the recent general election, has given extra leverage to the public sector trade unions.
I am old enough to remember the 1950's when employment in this country was provided, in the main, by inefficient state companies while young men and women were leaving in droves to work in the UK and further afield. The national debt rose rapidly to unsustainable levels and, despite the efforts of some governments in the intervening years, it has remained that way ever since.
In the 70's and 80's, trade unions caused much disruption in this country while taking their cue, to a large extent, from Militant Tendency in the UK. This anarchist group tried hard to destroy the British economy and would have succeeded except for the tough line taken by Margaret Thatcher and her government.
In this country, one trade union leader made the public comment that "company profits were unpaid wages!". This is a line drawn from the writings of German economist, Karl Marx, whose ideology sowed the seeds for a movement which wreaked death, terror and poverty on millions of people in Europe, Russia and beyond throughout most of the 20th century.
In the case of Dublin Bus, the government should heed the lessons of our thriving national bus network by gradually putting routes out to tender under fair and equitable conditions.