Friday 20 October 2017

Unions accuse Irish Rail of 'untrue' statements and an 'attempt at provocation'

The dispute is over payment for past productivity measures by train drivers.
The dispute is over payment for past productivity measures by train drivers.

Sam Griffin and Emma Jane Hade

UNIONS representing rail drivers threatening strike action have criticised claims by Irish Rail that an agreement over an increase in earnings can now be reached and said statements by the company are “untrue” and an “attempt at provocation”.

Train drivers at Irish Rail are set to take part in a three-hour work stoppage tomorrow morning form 6am which will grind the country’s rail services to a halt and cause commuter chaos.

Talks between Irish Rail and officials from the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) and Siptu are continuing this afternoon at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The dispute is over payment for past productivity measures by train drivers.

Earlier Irish Rail said it was hopeful of proposal that would deliver pay rises to the tune of 7.9pc for drivers.

However this afternoon the unions angrily dismissed the remarks by Irish Rail and accused the company of trying to mislead the public.

“The intervention by the WRC on the 9th October was based on issues which both parties sought to have addressed as part of the overall agenda, including previous discussions on productivity already delivered, along with future productivity, which, if agreed would have the potential for drivers to generate their own potential earnings increase”, the unions said in a joint statement.

They added they had been frustrated by Irish Rail’s inability to negotiate on all matters relating to a pre-agreed agenda and said the claims that there was now a real proposal that would allow drivers to increase their earnings was not true.

“To say that we have reached a position where productivity measures can be delivered, which will generate an increase in earnings for drivers is manifestly untrue and is designed to create a false and misleading impression among both the public and our members, we, despite this rather crude attempt at provocation, remain committed to the process which is currently being facilitated by the WRC,” the unions said.

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