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NBRU condemns Irish Rail strategy

Thursday, 9th November, 2017 9:30am

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has accepted an invitation from the Labour Court to discuss the Irish Rail pay dispute, but has cautioned against expectations of resolution.

"Whilst accepting that the Labour Court’s invitation is a potential step forward in attempting to resolve this debilitating and unnecessary dispute, it should be borne in mind that the intransigence displayed by Irish Rail management, and it should be said by the CEO, together with tacit support from the Department of Transport, will make an overall resolution to this dispute more difficult than it might otherwise have been had the company acted in an appropriate manner with both its own staff and the State’s third party industrial relations institutions,” NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary said in a statement.

Mr O’Leary had earlier this week voiced his disappointment at learning that Irish Rail planned for a series of industrial action in advance of the completion of pay talks.

John Forde, NBRU national executive member for Munster, said the dispute had the potential to bring all public transport to a halt if it was not resolved.

“Strikes are possible into Christmas, New Year and beyond with a serious risk of a complete escalation in the public transport sector,” he told the Cork Independent.

“We’re talking about the bus companies, our colleagues within Bus Eireann, who had their own dispute resolved. This has the potential to ground the public transport system in Ireland.

“But that’s a last resort, something we don’t want to go down, that we want to avoid at all costs,” he assured.

Mr Forde said it was not the unions’ intention to disrupt customers but that action had become unavoidable.

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