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Thursday 2 October 2014

Thousands more hit as extra day added to rail strike

Published 16/08/2014 | 02:30

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The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has announced a total of four days of stoppages in the coming weeks
The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has announced a total of four days of stoppages in the coming weeks

RAIL passengers are in line for more disruption after an extra day was added to the nationwide strike hitting thousands travelling to the All-Ireland matches.

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If it goes ahead it will be the biggest disruption for the travelling public in recent years.

Commuters will be hit on two key All-Ireland Sundays and now Siptu has joined the National Bus and Rail Union and added an extra Monday - September 8 - into the mix.

As a result Irish Rail has warned that it will not be in a position to operate any services on five days over the coming weeks.

Next weekend's 48-hour stoppage on August 24 and 25 will be followed by a stoppage on September 7, the day of the All-Ireland hurling final and another on Monday, September 8 which will hit commuters travelling to work.

There will also be a stoppage on September 21 when the Gaelic football decider takes place.

Up to 15,000 fans use Irish Rail services during All-Ireland Sundays and both the GAA and Government has called for the action to be called off.

Siptu has told Irish Rail that its members will stop work on four of the five dates, with 'work to rule' on one date.

The action follows the company instruction to the workforce that temporary pay-cuts will be put in place from August 24. The Labour Court recommended that the pay cuts should apply for 28 months.

The cuts of between 1.7pc and 6.1pc have been accepted by the TSSA, TEEU and Unite trade unions. The measures were rejected by both the NBRU and Siptu.

Disruption

Last night an Irish Rail spokesperson urged all employees not to undertake any action which would disrupt services and worsen the company's financial position and put employment at risk.

"I would again urge all colleagues and our trade unions not to undertake any action which disrupts services, worsens our financial situation, and puts all our employment at risk," said Iarnroid Eireann chief executive David Franks.

SIPTU organiser Paul Cullen said the Department of Transport has continued with a policy of failing to provide improvements in infrastructure which has resulted in increased uncertainty for the company.

The cuts of 1.7pc for those earning €56,000 or less and up to 6.1pc for those earning over €100,000 are part of a bid to slash almost €17m off its wages bill.

Irish Independent

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