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Dublin: 17°C Sunday 22 May 2022

Rail strike talks continue into the night

The three-hour work stoppage was expected to hit thousands.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated at 6.16am, 6 November

A RUSH HOUR train stoppage has been called off after late night talks between unions and Irish Rail management aimed at averting the strike.

A three-hour work stoppage last month impacted on thousands of people.

Commuters were told to plan without trains between 6am and 9am.

This would have meant all trains due to depart before 6am would still leave as scheduled and run until they reach their destination – even if the train is due to arrive there after 6am.

Once the work stoppage ended at 9am, services were due to resume as normal, though Irish Rail warned there may be some slight knock-on delays at first.

Alternative methods of travel

During the last stoppage, some additional capacity was provided by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus sent out its full fleet. Traffic volumes were significantly higher all across the country with more people taking to the roads in their own cars.

Representatives from Siptu and NBRU and Iarnród Éireann attended talks at the Workplace Relations Commission in a last ditch attempt to avert the strike.

They concluded late last night.

Unions are seeking compensation for drivers for past productivity measures that were put in place in the last few years. They say this is something management had already agreed to work with them on but that now there is no movement.

Iarnród Éireann has claimed unions during the talks had denied their members a wage increase of almost 8% with productivity proposals that would have delivered an increase in their earnings over the next two years.

Siptu and NBRU said the company’s decision to send a press release about proposed pay rises was designed to “drive a wedge” between workers and those representing them. This was further demonstrated in a communication from company chief David Franks to drivers this week.

He outlined proposals he said the company had put on the table that had been rejected by unions, something NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary described as ”bringing a distasteful element to this dispute”.

On the night of 22 October, before talks broke down, management preemptively briefed journalists. This caused fury amongst union representatives who were still sitting at the negotiating table when they heard it was being reported the talks had collapsed.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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