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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Fresh hope for breakthrough in Irish Rail strike

Published 29/08/2014 | 13:21

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Irish rail

TRADE unions involved in the bitter Irish Rail dispute have agreed to attend talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) tomorrow.

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As revealed by Independent.ie, the LRC today made contact with government, Irish Rail and union chiefs in a bid to put the brakes on the strike action.

Sources say the overriding objective is to secure the agreement of all sides to postpone next weekend's strike action by rail workers.

Both the National Bus and Rail workers Union (NBRU) and SIPTU are understood to have agreed to the request.

While sources insisted that the talks are merely "exploratory", the move will give hope to thousands of commuters that strike action scheduled for next weekend will now be averted.

But it's understood unions will only agree to call off the industrial action if pay cuts are postponed pending formal negotiations between the parties.

Thousands of people, including tourists and GAA fans, were affected when Irish Rail workers went on strike last Sunday and Monday.

Further action is scheduled for next Sunday which would severely disrupt the GAA hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Irish Rail has said that temporary pay cuts are necessary because the viability of the debt laden company is at stake.

In a statement this afternoon, NBRU General Secretary said:

“We understand that this invitation is designed to establish if there is a basis for further discussions around a more comprehensive agenda rather then one which has a disproportionate focus on our members wages, we will engage with the commission on this basis,”

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