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No more strikes*: Unions at Irish Rail vote to accept pay deal

*Hopefully.

Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

Updated 3.50pm

BOTH UNIONS INVOLVED in a dispute with Irish Rail over pay cuts have voted to accept Labour Relations Commission proposals to end the impasse.

Senior officials at Siptu and the NBRU agreed to put the plan to a wider vote after last-ditch talks at the start of September, ahead of a threatened 48-hour strike.

The proposals include temporary pay cuts for a 25-month period and a forum involving trade unions, Irish Rail, the Department of Transport, and the National Transport Authority to discuss long-term funding of the rail service.

“Our members have accepted further pay cuts amidst growing anger with management in relation to its failure to adequately contain other costs at the company,” organiser Paul Cullen said in a statement earlier.

Siptu members voted to back the deal by a margin of 71 per cent to 29 per cent. The margin at the NBRU was slightly narrower: 61 per cent for to 39 per cent against.

According to General Secretary of the union Dermot O’Leary:

“We have written to both the Company and the NTA putting them on notice with regard to them fulfilling their obligations under the LRC proposals.

This is just the beginning in terms of securing a sustainable future for our rail service and our members’ jobs.

In a statement, the company welcomed acceptance of the proposals.

Most importantly, the acceptance ensures that customers will not experience further disruption from industrial action, as occurred on 24 and 25 August last.

The temporary pay cuts, which were put in place in August, were paused by the company for three weeks to allow the SIPTU and NBRU ballots take place.

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Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has also welcomed today’s developments.

According to his statement:

I recognise the contribution this makes to the future viability of the company as it seeks to address the financial challenges that lie ahead.

“I would also like to acknowledge in particular the work of the Labour Relations Commission in working with the parties to bring this dispute to a resolution.”

Originally published 1.11pm.

Read: All-Ireland train strikes called off after late-night LRC talks>

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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