Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (54, 55)

Kathleen Lynch

Question:

151 Ms Lynch asked the Minister for Transport the position regarding his proposals for the restructuring of CIE; the discussions he has had with the trade unions representing CIE workers on these proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2127/04]

View answer

Jack Wall

Question:

179 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Transport his plans for the future of CIE Tours in the context of his plans to abolish CIE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2146/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 151 and 179 together.

As I have already stated, I met with general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the CIE trade unions on Monday, 26 January 2004 on the reform of public transport. There was a frank exchange of views in talks lasting three hours. Both I and the trade unions agreed to reflect on the views expressed at the meeting and consider if there was a basis for resumed discussions on public transport reform.

I would hope that the understanding of each others firmly held positions which characterised my recent meeting with the unions can provide a productive basis for resumed intensive dialogue on public transport reform.

While these discussions with the trade unions to date have dealt primarily with the regulatory issues, they also touched on the restructuring of CIE. The future arrangements for CIE Tours will be considered as part of the detailed restructuring work. However, I am not contemplating any change to the ownership structure of the company at the present time.