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Off Track

Strike action a step closer as Irish rail workers say 'No' to pay cuts

The company say they are in a “critical financial situation”.

SIPTU WORKERS IN Irish Rail have narrowly rejected a Labour Court cost-cutting plan, raising the prospect of industrial action.

The defeat of the vote by a margin of 53% to 47% comes after the LRC made recommendations that would see temporary pay cuts phased in over a 25 month period.

“It is clear from this ballot result that our members have categorically rejected the acceptance of any further pay reductions,” Siptu’s organiser Paul Cullen said following the vote, adding that pay cuts are now off the table.

It is clear from this vote that Siptu 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.

It follows union members at Siptu voting in favour of industrial action at the beginning of last month before fresh talks appeared to get consensus back on track.

A second union in Irish Rail, the NBRU, withdrew from the talks saying that “no serious attempts” were being made to address concerns of their members.

They had been calling for staff to receive a dividend for achieving €37 million worth of savings at Irish Rail since 2008.

Irish Rail says that the result of the vote was “very much regretted” and notes that the proposals were accepted by three other unions, the TSSA, TEEU and Unite:

This result is very much regretted, given the financial crisis the company is experiencing. The savings targeted from these proposals are essential, along with a range of other measures, to prevent Iarnród Éireann from becoming insolvent and to protect our services and the employment of our workforce.

The company says they must now consider the Siptu result in light of what they describe as “the company’s critical financial situation”.

Read: Irish Rail staff could strike over proposed pay cuts >

Read: SIPTU members at Irish Rail to vote on new proposals >

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