Train strike set to go ahead on Friday

No progress was made over weekend to avert planned industrial action by drivers

Heuston and other stations nationwide will go quiet for three hours on Friday morning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Heuston and other stations nationwide will go quiet for three hours on Friday morning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Train passengers can expect to be without services this Friday morning as no progress made over the weekend in scheduling fresh talks to avert a planned work stoppage by drivers.

Rail services nationwide will come to a standstill from 6am-9am as part of industrial action by drivers who are members of Siptu and the NBRU.

A spokesman for Iarnród Éireann said last night that said the company “remained open to re-engagement” this week, “but as it stands we are facing disruption”.

The NBRU said no progress had been made since the breakdown of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission in the early hours of Saturday morning. The dispute centres on payment for past productivity measures put in place by drivers.

Talks between management and unions at the company aimed at averting the planned stoppage had been underway for several days, but ended without agreement shortly after 2am on Saturday.

Iarnród Éireann said the planned work stoppage on Friday, as well as a second strike earmarked for Friday, November 6th, now seemed set to take place.

All services

However the company has warned the industrial action could have knock-on effects later in the day.

Iarnród Éireann said the strikes will cause “needless disruption” at one of the busiest times of the year and worsen its financial position.

Dermot O’Leary, general secretary of the NBRU, said his members had “no option” but to engage in strike action on Friday.

“We, for our part, sought to have the issue of previous contributions by train drivers dealt with in a way that would, if satisfactorily addressed, have allowed for the possibility of further discussions on the whole range of issues around the productivity agenda,” Mr O’Leary said.

“It is unfortunate that our resolve to deal with the issues was not matched by the company on this occasion.”

Proposals tabled

“This would have been delivered through a productivity allowance payable to drivers commencing from January 2016, and increasing in January 2017 and January 2018 as further productivity was achieved,” a spokesman said. “The company was willing to implement this with a favourable split of benefit to drivers.”

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue said he will not intervene in the industrial dispute.