Sunday 11 December 2016

Drivers to vote on possible strike action if DARTs run every 10 minutes

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Published 15/01/2016 | 13:29

Dart (Stock photo)
Dart (Stock photo)

THOUSANDS of Dublin commuters may face traffic chaos at the end of the month as DART drivers prepare to ballot for industrial action.

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News that the drivers may down tools come as Luas drivers prepare to mount two 48-hour strikes next month.

The National Bus and Rail Drivers Union said strike action will begin immediately on January 31 if the company forges ahead with a plan to run Darts every 10 minutes.

General Secretary of the union, Dermot O’Leary, said it will serve notice of industrial action on the company one week ahead of that date, in case the company forges ahead with the plan.

He said the company told the unions at the Workplace Relations Commission earlier this week that it was going to introduce the new service.

“This has left us with no option but to ballot our members in response to what would be a major departure from how we would normally address fundamental change at Iarnrod Eireann,” he said.

He accused the company of placing conflict ahead of consultation.

“It appears that in the rush to announce a 10 minute frequency, the company has elected to dismiss staff concerns.”

He said there may also be potential problems with having to reduce Dart train carriages to facilitate extra trains, which would lead to reduced capacity at peak times.

He said the Labour Court had ruled that productivity and hours should be measured against Northern Ireland and UK rail companies but unions had not reached agreement on this.

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