Irish Rail announces 450 job cuts


Iarnród Éireann workers are to vote this month on cost-cutting proposals which include agreement for up to 450 voluntary redundancies, it has emerged this evening

A reduction in subsistence allowances, overtime entitlements, uncertified sick leave entitlements and changes to pension arrangements are among the proposed changes in staff conditions.

Staff were this week given details of the programme to tackle the company deficit which was negotiated between unions and management at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

The voluntary redundancy scheme for staff was opened in April and staff can apply for it up until June 15th, company spokesman Barry Kenny said.

The redundancies would be brought in on a phased basis “over the next number of years”, he said.

The company would manage its requirements depending on where applications came from, he said.

Up to 450 voluntary redundancies can be provided for in the next four years, under the proposals agreed between management and unions.

The company aims that such staff reductions would not severely impact on rail services to passengers.

“The priority is to maintain services and ensure that it has impact little on day to day operations” Mr Kenny said.

Unions will ballot its members on the proposals this month. If accepted the measures will begin to be implemented next month. The company has already reduced its work force by a third in the past decade from 6200 in 2002 down to 4,100.

Iarnród Éireann had been engaging in a “significant cost-reduction programmes” since 2008, Mr Kenny said.

Its costs have fallen by €69m since 2008.

Iarnród’s Éireann’s revenues have fallen in recent years due to reduced State funding and reduced income from passengers.

Revenues from fares have fallen by almost a fifth (by some €39m) and its subvention from the Exchequer by more than a quarter since 2008.

Further reductions in State funding to the company has been flagged in the 2013 and 2014 budget.