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Union withdraws from Irish Rail talks as 'no serious attempts made to address concerns'

However, the National Bus and Rail Union said strike action is not yet on the table.

ONE OF THE four unions involved in a dispute with Irish Rail over planned cost-savings measures has withdrawn from talks with management.

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) claimed that the company “made no serious attempt to address the concerns of our members”.

The union had accepted an invitation to the talks after its members rejected a Labour Court recommendation involving pay cuts, redundancies and restructuring at the company.


The NBRU had been calling for staff to receive a dividend for achieving €37 million worth of savings at Irish Rail since 2008, and to draw up a framework “for a future sharing of savings”.

“We wanted the company to immediately engage in discussions on a shared agenda which would have included a recognition that services would match current subvention levels,” general secretary Dermot O’Leary said, “which in itself would go some way to addressing the finances of the company.”

O’Leary told that members of the NBRU will not be balloted for industrial action, although if Irish Rail introduces cuts, it will be viewed as a “provocation”.

In a letter to NBRU members, O’Leary said the company “on a course of divide and conquer.”

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

A strike has so far been avoided at the company, although Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he saw one as “inevitable”.

Read: Irish Rail workers vote for industrial action but don’t want to strike >

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