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Eamonn Farrell/

Union accuses Irish Rail of 'grinch-like behaviour' over €500 Dunnes vouchers for staff

The union feels the restriction of the voucher to one outlet is unfair.

A UNION REPRESENTING staff at Irish Rail has accused the company of being both Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch over a €500 voucher.

In recent Labour Court talks, it was recommended that the vouchers be given to staff as a goodwill gesture. However, one union has been angered that the vouchers are only for Dunnes Stores, not multi-store vouchers. The union says that vouchers which could be redeemed at multiple outlets were given to staff in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.

Staff last week voted to approve a pay deal which will see them receive 2.5% pay increases for the next three years. 69% of Irish Rail’s NBRU members have voted to accept the deal, but a letter sent to Irish Rail management by the union’s general secretary Dermot O’Leary accuses management of looking for a fight.

The irony of Christmas being the season of goodwill is not lost on our members, although the Ebenezer Scrooge type behaviour being demonstrated by the company on this occasion should not really surprise those of us that have been attempting to engage on industrial relations issues over the last four years.

“It is a matter of grave concern to the NBRU that there appears to be a determination at senior management level within Iarnród Éireann to seek out confrontation at every turn.

“I am told that the die is cast and that the voucher will in fact be restricted to one outlet.

Unfortunately, the Grinch-like behaviour being demonstrated around the whole voucher saga is one which will stymie, delay, frustrate, even prevent progress across a range of initiatives.

A spokesperson for Irish Rail told that the union stance was not representative of the staff feeling. The spokesperson said that two-thirds of staff had already signed up to receive the vouchers.

They added that the company followed its own procurement policies and made a significant saving on the vouchers. National reach, cost and range of products were the criteria considered.

Read: Irish Rail staff accept Labour Court pay deal recommendation

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