Siptu members back industrial action but not strike at Iarnród

Union says it is engaged in talks with management at State-owned train operator

Members of Siptu at Iarnród Éireann voted last month by 51 per cent to 49 per cent against cost-saving proposals drawn up by the Labour Court. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Members of Siptu at Iarnród Éireann voted last month by 51 per cent to 49 per cent against cost-saving proposals drawn up by the Labour Court. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 19:59

Staff at Iarnród Éireann who are members of trade union Siptu have said they will embark on industrial action but not go on strike in the event of management unilaterally introducing cost-saving measures that changed their conditions of employment.

A spokesman for the union said its members had voted two to one in favour of industrial action, but two to one against strike action.

The union said it had proposed that two facilitators be appointed to assist the parties in the State-owned train operator to come to a resolution regarding cost savings.

A similar initiative was employed at Dublin Bus during a dispute over cost reductions in the company last year.

Siptu organiser Paul Cullen said industrial action would only occur if management “acts provocatively by changing members’ conditions of employment without agreement”.

Siptu has not said what form any industrial action that might be carried out would take.

Members of Siptu at Iarnród Éireann voted last month by 51 per cent to 49 per cent against cost-saving proposals drawn up by the Labour Court. The union said at the time it would ballot members again for a mandate to take action in the event of management unilaterally imposing cuts.

Siptu represents about 2,000 of the 3,760 employees at Iarnród Éireann.

The Labour Court plan called for pay cuts of between 1.7 per cent to 6.1 per cent which would apply for a 28-month period.

The court said that during the 28-month period when the pay cuts were in place, the company should be prevented from seeking any additional reductions in terms or conditions.

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