As someone who commutes regularly in and out of town for work using the Dublin Bus Services, I cannot exactly say the bus strikes have done me any favours.
If anything, they have caused nothing but extra charges, long-winded routes and a couple of sprints as I have desperately tried to make it to work on time. I think, however, it is fair to say that the bus drivers have the right to campaign, but they are going about it completely the wrong way.
If the bus drivers stop working, why should everyone else not do the same? In our country, of all places, there are plenty of people working in vital roles who are still underpaid like bus drivers, so why should these workers such as teachers, nurses etc. not follow suit?
With the number of strikes increasing daily, we are currently looking at an avalanche of the government paid working sector if other underpaid workers feel in anyway as strongly as Dublin Bus drivers, as I am sure they do.
Dublin Bus Service are well aware of the large numbers of commuters and, in particular, students who rely on their services every day.
It seems strange to me how they think they should be paid more when through this method of petition all they are doing is letting their customers down.
There are many ways drivers could be campaigning for more money without causing such hassle and difficulty for their customers, which I feel is having a negative effect on bus users support of a rise in pay for drivers.
I am not saying that these hardworking men and women do not deserve more pay, but rather, there are methods of campaign available which would not cause as high a level of hindrance and delay as these strikes have caused.
If the bus drivers want our support and respect, they should be treating us in the same manner they believe they deserve to be treated.
I am not oblivious to the fact that the idea behind the strikes is to show just how much Dublin and the rest of the country depends on their services and therefore should be paid more money, but this method has caused much more hassle than it is worth.
I for one, have had to cancel three working days so far, as I had no other way of making it into town. I simply cannot afford a taxi or an hour and a half walk.
As a student, those three days of work really would have made a difference to my standard of living this week. Therefore, in my opinion, the bus strikes have been nothing short of a disaster.
Image Credit: Darragh Culhane