Irish Rail strike looming as last union votes on pay
THE threat of strike action at Irish Rail is set to deepen this week as its pay cut plan faces rejection.
The National Bus and Railworkers Union, representing over 550 staff, is expected to vote against a compromise put forward by the Labour Court on the wage reduction on Wednesday. It is the final union to issue the result of its ballot on the court proposal.
The court's compromise was designed to ease the impact of the wage reduction, which ranges from 1.7pc to 6.1pc – for those on higher wages – by shortening the length of time it would last.
Chief executive David Franks urged staff to accept the pay cuts, warning that conflict and industrial action are the alternative as they are "at the end of the road" in terms of talks.
Some 10,000 passengers a day would be affected in the event of an all-out strike.
If the NBRU votes against the court's recommendation, the two largest unions, representing 2,532 staff out of the 3,767 workforce, will have rejected the proposal. Members of SIPTU, voted against it by a tight margin of 51pc to 49pc.
The union, representing over 1,900 staff, has begun balloting on industrial action, up to strikes, which would be triggered if management tried to impose the cuts on staff. Most of UNITE's 90 craft worker members also rejected the plan.
However, a union representing 400 staff, the TEEU, and UNITE's engineer division of 40 staff, voted in favour of it.
The Transport Salaried Staff's Association, representing 324 staff, also backed the court proposal by a 72pc margin.
The original plan was for a temporary wage reduction for three years but the court recommended a compromise of two years and four months.