Siptu to decide on pay cut proposals for staff at Iarnród Éireann

Rally and march to take place over strike at Greyhound bin-collection company

Iarnród Éireann has  warned of an urgent need to secure payroll savings and has indicated that the failure to secure a cost-saving agreement could lead to compulsory redundancies and the closure of railway lines

Iarnród Éireann has warned of an urgent need to secure payroll savings and has indicated that the failure to secure a cost-saving agreement could lead to compulsory redundancies and the closure of railway lines

Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 01:01

A long-running row over cost-reduction measures, including pay cuts, at Iarnród Éireann is expected to intensify in the days ahead. The trade union Siptu, which represents about 2,000 staff at the State-owned train operator, will decide today whether to back the latest cost-saving proposals which emerged following talks between management and unions last month.

The National Bus and Rail Union withdrew last month and said it would ballot its 500 members at Iarnród Éireann for a mandate for strike action if the company moved to unilaterally impose cuts to the terms and conditions of staff.

Siptu members voted a number of weeks ago to undertake industrial action, but not to go on strike, if the company unilaterally imposed cuts.

Under Labour Court proposals, staff would have faced pay cuts of between 1.7 per cent and 6.1 per cent for 28 months. Following subsequent direct talks between management and unions last month, it was agreed that the duration of the proposed cuts would be reduced to 25 months, subject to additional savings being realised from non-pay areas.

Iarnród Éireann last month unilaterally introduced pay cuts for senior management.

The company has previously warned of an urgent need to secure payroll savings and has indicated that the failure to secure a cost-saving agreement could lead to compulsory redundancies and the closure of railway lines. In recent years it has been by a falling State subvention, reductions in passenger numbers and rising fuel prices.

Separately, Siptu members who are involved in a dispute with the bin collection company Greyhound are to hold a rally at Liberty Hall in Dublin today and then march to Dublin City Council. The union says about 80 staff have been locked out since the middle of last month when they refused to accept a survival plan involving pay cuts of up to 35 per cent. Greyhound has been using temporary agency workers on the new lower pay rates to carry out bin collections.