Busmen in the Firing Line
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Keeping the buses running during The Troubles was a priority which came at huge personal cost. For the busmen the experience was attritional: the entire fleet of buses was destroyed and 17 men were killed simply for turning up for work. Protecting your members from death is not a normal part of a union official's brief, but it was his number one priority. Setting aside their differences O'Callaghan and union colleagues worked alongside Werner Heubeck and management to keep the drivers safe. O'Callaghan also represented the General Workers in manufacturing, tackling issues affecting pay and conditions. But it was to the busmen that he devoted most of his energies; making sure that pensions were extended to all bus employees, wages were increased, and ensuring a threat of privatisation was defeated. Even in retirement he did not rest, becoming a strong advocate for retired union members. Blunt, resolute and always on the side of the worker, O'Callaghan spoke to benefit the lives of those whom he served.
|Publication Date||1 Oct 2019|
|Publisher||ULSTER HISTORICAL FOUNDATION|