SIPTU representatives of staff in Irish Rail have condemned a decision by the company to sponsor a fishing competition in Northern Ireland while at the same time refusing to provide workers with a long overdue pay increases. SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “Our members have been deeply angered by news reports today (Wednesday, 13th September) concerning a decision by the management of Irish Rail to fund a fishing competition in Northern Ireland. I have been inundated with calls from members who have expressed their disgust with the company for funding the event. “They are particularly annoyed that the company is sponsoring an event in a place with no rail link and which has no obvious connection to  the core activities of Irish Rail. “Workers at the company have endured pay cuts and no increases for more than nine years. Penny pinching by management recently even resulted in a member of staff with more than 20 years’ service, who was not a member of the company pension scheme, being refused any type of gratuity payment when he retired at 70 years of age.” He added: “In stark contrast to that worker’s treatment the company continues to reward businesses who have no connection to Irish Rail by sponsoring events which benefit them. Our members find it completely unacceptable that senior management in Irish Rail would seem to believe that it is their right to indulge the personal hobbies of some employees at taxpayers’ expense while denying hard working staff a long overdue pay increase.”