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#21

stuck in
Bishopstown

the strike

The drivers of the national bus operator of Ireland – Bus Éireann – went on strike at the end of March. After the company had faced severe financial issues, they decided to cut down wages and to dismiss quite a few employees. As you might have assumed, the drivers were not particularly pleased with the proposal implant to mount pickets several times without doing so.

Only on this weekend they took the gloves off and consequently brought the bus traffic in the whole country to a halt. Except for a few intercity lines, all connections were canceled and left thousands of commuters stranded. As the city buses of Dublin are operated by a different company, they were the only one to run normally.

21 days of rest for the buses

Since all responsible people – like the transport minister – reside in the capital, they didn’t really realize the impact of the strike which probably also slowed the whole process down. Not until the Dublin buses and Irish Rail joined the strike for half a day, talks finally took place and after more than three weeks a preliminary, an agreement was settled. Thus, all bus services were restored after 21 days.

Throwback to a time when the buses where still running

tesco delivery service

Before this, I was never personally affected by a strike (obviously Austrians are not as likely to strike as the Irish). However, since my accommodation was located at the outskirts of Cork, I was basically stuck there without no bus service. For groceries you had to walk at least 20 minutes to a small shop or take the bus to the city center.

So, during the three weeks strike, I had to walk for more than an hour to the center till I found out that Tesco also delivers groceries to your house for a reasonable price. I also kept on ordering online after the strike because of the lazy bastard that I am.  Although, one day, I was still forced to jog into the city because I needed a few things for a university project urgently. It’s slightly awkward to enter retail store, like H&M all sweaty and exhausted – but hey, people always tell you to get out of your comfort zone.

miracle

Moreover, our previously described nightlife was affected by the strike. As taxis were constantly booked out – two hours of waiting during the night were usual – parties mostly took place in our apartments until we were kicked out by the security guards. Anyway, I think it's needless to say that the first bus after those three weeks appeared like a Fata Morgana.  Sense that strike, I’ve started to really appreciate the public transport system in my city in Austria.

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