Monday 20 November 2017

Bus strike contagion may spread to Irish Rail

Rail stations at Waterford, Tralee, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Athlone are shared with the bus operator and staff may decide not to cross the picket line. Photo: PA
Rail stations at Waterford, Tralee, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Athlone are shared with the bus operator and staff may decide not to cross the picket line. Photo: PA
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Irish Rail workers at six depots across the country may not turn up for work if the strike at Bus Éireann goes ahead.

Rail stations at Waterford, Tralee, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Athlone are shared with the bus operator and staff may decide not to cross the picket line.

General secretary of the National Bus and Railway Workers Union Dermot O'Leary said any such decision would be up to the rail workers themselves.

Mr O'Leary confirmed it would be a matter of conscience for those staff members and said industrial relations law prevented balloting for a sympathy strike, as the workers themselves must be in a dispute.

"We would not be giving instructions to our (railway worker) members," he said.

Should a significant number of rail workers decide not to cross the picket in those stations, it would cause even more widespread disruption.

The issue would arise specifically where Irish Rail and Bus Éireann workers shared the same base, with most areas unaffected.

Irish Rail has played down the possibility train services could be hit as a result of a bus strike.

"We don't anticipate that there will be any disruption to our services as a result of this action," a spokesperson told the Irish Independent.

Asked about the possibility about such a disruption in the six shared bases, she repeated there was no indication as of yet the problem would arise.

Irish Independent

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