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We don’t do privatisation? Sure we do. August 10, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Got to say this strikes me as deeply problematic, the news that 10% of Dublin Bus routes will be operated by Go-Ahead, a private company. On RTÉ this was framed in the following way:

The NTA has previously denied that if the franchise is awarded to a commercial operator it would amount to privatisation. 
The authority points out it would retain ownership of the bus fleet and revenue, but would pay an operator to run the routes in the same way that Transport Infrastructure Ireland controls operation of the Luas. 

I don’t quite see the distinction myself and I’d wonder what is the rationale for this part-privatisation?

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1. dublinstreams - August 10, 2017

Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham said:

“This is ultimately about improving bus services for Dublin and NTA is confident that passengers will benefit from this decision. We believe that a new operator in the market will bring a fresh dimension to the way that services are offered. Introducing new providers encourages everybody to focus on their customers’ needs and it encourages innovation and improvements to service quality.

“It has also been the experience internationally that introducing some level of competitive tendering into PSO services like this, usually results in a better deal for passengers and for the public in general.

https://www.nationaltransport.ie/news/nta-announces-go-ahead-preferred-bidder-bus-routes-dublin/

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WorldbyStorm - August 10, 2017

Hmmm… a ‘fresh dimension’… ‘focus on customer needs’…’encourages innovation’. How are these things impossible in the current scheme – or more to the point does DB not focus on customer needs, and if so why not?

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2. EWI - August 10, 2017

It’s the wedge in the door. And guess who’s handily there to step in on the next occasion that CIÉ workers need to resort to industrial action to protect themselves.

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Miguel62 - August 10, 2017

Spot on, EWI. It has the dual effect of blunting the industrial power of the union’s in a dispute situation. But even worse really, I think anyway, is that it undermines the union’s day to day negotiating strength. Management will say we can’t give you X because if we do, we’ll be in danger of becoming “uncompetitive” and more routes will go to the private operator. What you end up with is two groups of workers forced to compete with each other on lowering wages.

The solution is simple. In theory anyway. Unionise the private operator. Get wages and terms and conditions there up to the level of Dublin Bus. Put a real focus on this.

The problem will be that current union structures, both at shop steward level and head office level are focused on the current big employer and everyone is programmed to see the workers in the new employer as the enemy instead of potential allies waiting to be recruited.

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Alibaba - August 10, 2017

+ 1

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3. Alibaba - August 10, 2017

When I discovered that bus routes will be operated by a company called Go-Ahead, I asked myself: is this for real? I well remember the days when people might give the “go ahead” to CIE workers when they handed up half the bus fare in return for no tickets and awaiting the nod to proceed. On the rare occasion that an inspector arrived, some people would exit the bus en masse. I also remember being miffed one particular time when my mother in a tight spot told the worker to “go ahead” because I didn’t get the long ticket for flying out the bus window.

I’m seriously miffed now about the part privatisation of Dublin Bus. It strikes me as a very well run service, focussing on customer needs. Nor am I impressed by the statement put out by SIPTU to say they won’t agree further efforts on privatisation. Oh yeah, heard it all before, and they are and were even anticipating it in advance.

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4. makedoanmend - August 10, 2017

Improving customer service me arse.

Privatisation = profit. (higher fares, poorer services, and destruction of worker conditions – i.e. the real costs of privatisation).

And of course the private rentiers want the public/state to own the buses.

They make the profit we own liabilities.

Sound familiar.

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5. fergal - August 10, 2017

But hasn’t Dublin been here before?- many moons ago- 1920s/30s there were several private bus companies there-but it was inefficient, chaotic and dear- hence the need for Dublin Bus/ CIE…or did I just make that up??
“It has also been the experience internationally that introducing some level of competitive tendering into PSO services like this, usually results in a better deal for passengers and for the public in general.
Where? Which cities? Sounds like dross- are they saying that cities like Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris have privatised operators?? More like much more heavily subsidised public transport.
Make public transport free if they’re really interested in an innovative idea..that could transform transport in cities

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6. irishelectionliterature - August 11, 2017

One part of the deal was that Go Ahead provide a depot. Given it’s routes cover from Balbriggan to Kilcoole , it’s going to be some job to get one depot that is suitably located.
This shite about “adding competition in the market” is nonsense too. From the routes I know, none of the routes selected for privatisation would have much competition on the route (bar people going on short journeys) . I’m not going to stand waiting in Deansgrange for a 75 to Stillorgan if a 46A comes along.

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6to5against - August 12, 2017

the competition argument is so weak its had to believe its being offered up at all. But when you have a compliant media prepared to print such press releases without mockery, I suppose they don’t really feel the need to even win the argument.

Speaking of which (on a tangent), did anybody else read this last weekend? MSM puts the MSM on trial and finds the MSM not guilty….

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/06/can-you-trust-mainstream-media

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7. GW - August 12, 2017

I think EWI has hit the nail on the head.

Yes we don’t do privatisation – not just in Ireland.

For instance, there are no effectively private banks left – they are all propped up by the national and transnational public institutions. If they were to become truly private for a month without the possibility of state / interstate support, they would collapse.

What ‘we’ (i.e. the political representatives of the interests of capital accumulation) do is organise opportunities for guaranteed profit in the provision of what should be universal services, like public transport. At the same time ‘we’/they externalise the costs and risks in the direction of the public.

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GW - August 12, 2017

Sorry – I meant makedoandmend.

EWI is also right about it being an anti-union move.

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