SIPTU and the NRBU will ballot their members working as train drivers in Irish Rail on industrial action following the management at the transport company refusing today (Thursday, 28th July) to engage in a talks process recommended by the Labour Court. In a joint statement, SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, and NRBU General Secretary, Dermot O'Leary, said: “It is nothing short of appalling that a semi-state company, tasked with providing a public transport service can flagrantly flout the recognised industrial relations procedures of the State. That a taxpayer funded transport service would treat its own workforce in such a disgraceful manner and expose the travelling public to a potential scenario whereby train services will come under threat is contemptible. “It behoves the shareholder (the State) to instruct management at Irish Rail to operate within recognised industrial relations norms and engage with its own staff on the all-encompassing agenda as set out in a Labour Court commissioned report.” They added: “It should be clearly understood that both unions were, and remain, prepared to immediately discuss the issue of driver training to the point where we could hopefully reach agreement while simultaneously discussing all of the issues contained in the Report. “Furthermore, we are prepared, as directed by the Labour Court, to refer any outstanding non-agreed issues from the agenda, inclusive of driver training, back to the Court for a final recommendation. We will now immediately move to ballot our members for industrial action in response to the company's point blank refusal to engage around the agenda previously agreed by both parties.”