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Decision time as Labour Court to issue recommendation on ending Irish Rail strike

The Labour Court agreed to issue a recommendation for how the dispute could be resolved tomorrow afternoon.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

A RECOMMENDATION IS set to be made by the Labour Court tomorrow in the dispute between unions and Irish Rail.

Siptu’s Greg Ennis told TheJournal.ie that the trade unions got a “fair hearing” in the Labour Court today, and awaited that recommendation to be issued tomorrow afternoon.

“We’ll be meeting tomorrow to consider that, and we’ll wait and see what’s in it,” Ennis said.

The unions are set to meet at 4.30pm tomorrow.

Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny told TheJournal.ie that the company was “very grateful” for the Labour Court’s consideration.

He said: “We’ve made our submissions to the court based on our financial position, and on how we’re seeking to address the pay claim. We’re looking forward to receiving the recommendation tomorrow.”

A Labour Court recommendation is not binding, and either side could choose to accept or reject its recommendation.

Two 24-hour stoppages have taken place so far this month. Further 24-hour work stoppages are planned on Tuesday 14 November, Thursday 23 November and Friday 8 December.

It is understood that, as of now, the planned strikes will still go ahead, but unions will consider this position again when they receive the Labour Court recommendation.

Unions had previously warned that a resolution was unlikely.

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NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary, for example, said that the talks were not guaranteed to bring about a solution.

He said that the actions of Irish Rail and the Department of Transport made “an overall resolution to this dispute more difficult than it might otherwise have been”.

It’s understood that Irish Rail workers are seeking a pay rise in the region of 3.75%, in line with what some other public transport workers have received.

O’Leary had warned that the NBRU and the four other unions involved in the dispute have not yet made a decision about striking over the Christmas period, but it’s a distinct possibility.

Read: Irish Rail staff will go to Labour Court, but say don’t expect a resolution

Read: Little support for Irish Rail workers as unions say Christmas strike ‘possible’

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Sean Murray

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