Saturday 25 November 2017

Commuters face day of chaos as union calls strike

Irish Rail say there will be a strike on August 25
Irish Rail say there will be a strike on August 25
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

MORE than 100,000 commuters will face travel disruptions as SIPTU members in Irish Rail stage a one-day strike.

The union's decision to carry out industrial action comes after management at the transport company decided to implement pay cut recommendations made by the Labour Court.

The proposed industrial action is planned for August 25, with SIPTU warning members in the company would "participate in a one-day work stoppage if the transport company carries out a threat to cut workers' wages on August 24".

SIPTU organiser Owen Reidy said that members had rejected proposals from Irish Rail, which included pay cuts, on four different occasions.

"The management of Irish Rail has threatened to implement reductions in workers' pay from August 24.

"Our members in Irish Rail voted in early June in favour of taking industrial action if management attempted to force through further cuts to their pay," Mr Reidy said. "This industrial action can include 24 and 48-hour work stoppages."

He said the union, which represents over 50pc of the company's 3,750 staff, does not have a mandate from its members "to engage in any further negotiations with the management of Irish Rail, which include any pay reductions".

Irish Rail announced last week that they would implement cost-saving measures which would result in a temporary reduction in basic pay.

Staff earning €56,000 or less – 75pc of the employees – will face a wage cut of 1.7pc, while those earning in excess of €100,000 face a 6.1pc cut.

An Irish Rail spokesperson last night warned that any disruption to services would be "counter productive", adding that the three other unions representing staff had accepted the proposals. "We would reiterate that any action would damage the company's finances further and could hit job security."

Irish Rail said if pay savings were not implemented "there will be additional pain" which would be of no benefit to customers, staff or management.

The one-day stoppage will hit commutes across the company's DART, intercity, freight and commuter services.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe recently said he believed it was in "everyone's interest that savings are achieved".

Irish Independent

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