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Christmas strikes 'more than likely'

Thursday, 9th November, 2017 9:30am

A representative from SIPTU has said further train strikes over the Christmas period are “more than likely” if the dispute continues.
Denis Murphy, who was picketing at Kent Station with SIPTU during Tuesday’s strike, said returning to negotiations was a possibility but said there was little point in doing so without a concrete offer on the table.

“There’s been no decision made (regarding further strikes) by the two unions, but the possibility is that there will be,” he told the Cork Independent.

“There’s nothing planned after 8 December. (The management) are talking about going back into the Labour Court, but there’s no offer on the table to talk about,” he said on Tueday. “So the reality is that strikes over Christmas are more than likely.”

Mr Murphy said the key frustration for Irish Rail workers was the lack of decision-making from management at Irish Rail.

“There is only one manager of this company, (CEO) David Franks,” he said. “The rest of the management are only administrators. You can go in all you like for discussions with these people but they can’t make any decisions. They go back to Mr Franks and he refuses what has been set out.”

Mr Murphy said the company’s delegation of the dispute to the Labour Court was also causing frustration, saying he did not understand why the company couldn’t make a decision on its own.

“It’s the public that suffer from this, we all know that. That’s not our intention, but we want to get the company to start managing, to start meaningfully speaking with us.”

A spokesperson from the NTA responded by saying the organisation “would urge the unions to take up the offer of Iarnród Éireann and refer any outstanding issues back to the Labour Court”.

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