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Strike likely at Irish Rail as second union rejects pay deal

Both the NBRU and SIPTU have now voted to reject the deal.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THERE’S AN INCREASING threat of strike action at Irish Rail after members of another union voted to reject cost-cutting proposals at the company set out by the Labour Court.

Members of the National Bus and Rail Union voted down the compromise deal by a margin of 3 to 1. The proposals included pay cuts ranging from 1.7 per cent to 6.1 per cent.

SIPTU has also voted to reject the deal, and are now balloting on strike action.

“Our members have been sending a consistent message through three separate ballots on retrenchment proposals,” NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary said this afternoon.

The responsibility for the financial situation at Irish Rail lies squarely with the Minister, whose Government has overseen a 27 per cent subvention reduction from €149 million in 2011 to €117 million this year.

“Our members have been consistently telling the Company that there are areas of non-payroll savings that we have identified which to-date have not been seriously considered by the company towards reducing the cost base.”

SIPTU members voted by 51 per cent to 49 last week to reject the deal.

They’re now being balloted on industrial and strike action, which would be triggered if management attempt to implement the cuts.

Irish Rail has warned that the failure to implement cost-saving measures will result in redundancies and the closure of some lines.

Read: Mulling it over: Labour Court releases its plan to end Irish Rail dispute>

Read: Varadkar ‘loves’ trains – and won’t be closing ‘dozens’ of rural lines>

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