Rail dispute set for Labour Court as strike called off

Planned 6am - 9am stoppages were cancelled after all-night talks

Passengers are seen on the Dart on Friday morning. All Iarnród Éireann are operating as normal after a planned three-hour work stoppage on Friday was called off. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Passengers are seen on the Dart on Friday morning. All Iarnród Éireann are operating as normal after a planned three-hour work stoppage on Friday was called off. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

 

Unions and management at Iarnród Éireann are to discuss the dispute at the company in the Labour Court after a planned strike on Friday morning was called off in the early hours of the morning. 

The planned three-hour stoppage was cancelled following lengthy overnight talks at the Workplace Relations Commission. After more than 18 hours of negotiations the decision was taken just before 4am to call off the nationwide work stoppages that were due to result in all Irish rail, commuters and Dart services between 6am and 9am being cancelled.

As a result full rail services are expected to operate on Friday morning.

Outstanding issues between rail unions and management at Irish Rail are to be referred to the Labour Court.

The company apologised for inconvenience caused to travel plans over the uncertainty around whether Friday’s strike would take place.

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Talks between the National Bus and Rail Workers Union, Siptu and management at Irish Rail concluded shortly before 4am.

The dispute centres on payment for past productivity measures by drivers and a reduction in te working hours.

The NBRU and Siptu reportedly said they were angry and frustrated at how the talks had been conducted and that an agreement had not been reached.

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe welcomed the decision to call off the strike but said the news would have come too late for many planning to use the trains this morning.

Iarnród Éireann said in a statement “Siptu and NBRU have decided not to pursue the company proposal of improved earnings of up to 7.9 per cent through agreed productivity measures, and issues concerning claims for past productivity and benchmarking of hours and conditions with Northern Ireland and Great Britain railway companies have been referred to the Labour Court.”

On Monday, the company’s chief executive David Franks on Monday wrote directly to drivers saying he was “disappointed” the unions would not put the company’s proposals to a ballot of workers.

NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary said the attempt to undermine the unions in their representation of workers was counterproductive.