Press Release

SIPTU members in Irish Rail to conduct 48 hour and 24 hour work stoppages during September

Date Released: 15 August 2014

SIPTU members in Irish Rail will conduct a 48 hour work stoppage from 12.01 a.m. on Sunday, 7th September, and a further 24 hour work stoppage from 12.01 on Sunday, 21st September, if the transport company carries out a threat to cut workers wages. SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “The SIPTU Rail Committee today (Friday, 15th August) decided to issue Irish Rail with notice of two further work stoppages if the company follows through on its stated intention to implement pay cuts without agreement.

“These work stoppages are in addition to industrial action scheduled to begin on Sunday, 24th August, with workers implementing a ‘work to rule’ action, and a 24 hour work stoppage beginning at 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 25th August.”

He added: “The SIPTU Rail Committee also condemned comments by the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, in which he blamed workers for the likely disruption of the rail service. However, the Minister failed to point to the contribution by staff in recent years in assisting Irish Rail’s financial position. This has included the acceptance of payroll reductions amounting to €36 million.

“In 2012, management told staff that if in addition to a reduction in numbers they also accepted cuts to their annual leave, allowances and overtime, as well as changes to their pension scheme, the company would break even by 2016. However, since this commitment was given the management of Irish Rail has presided over an increasing ratio of managers to workers, while revenues have decreased and non-payroll costs increased".

“During this period, the Department of Transport has also continued with a policy of failing to provide for improvements in rail infrastructure. The failed approach of management and the Department has resulted in increased uncertainly over the company’s future beyond the expectation that staff will be asked to endure further cuts in their wages and conditions”.

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