Dispute may disrupt Christmas rail travel


CHRISTMAS rail travel may be disrupted on Friday if clerical staff go ahead with a threatened one-day stoppage. Representatives of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association and Iarnrod Eireann management are meeting today to try and resolve the dispute and avert industrial action.

If they fail, more one-day strikes could follow. The strike is over a unilateral company decision to close its Railink parcel service.

The union believes the closure should have been discussed as part of the overall viability plan for Iarnrod Eireann. Negotiations on the plan are not due to begin until January.

Association members will not be placing pickets on Friday but they have asked members of other CIE unions not to do their work. The dispute is expected primarily to affect booking offices in mainline stations which are staffed by association members.

A company spokesman said every effort would be made to ensure normal services on Friday, which is the start of the Christmas holiday rush. DART commuters should not be seriously disrupted as they can buy tickets at local stations, which are staffed by SIPTU members.