SIPTU members in Irish Rail have stated that a conciliation conference at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday, 27th September) may present the last opportunity for progress on a pay increase before they are forced to consider industrial action. SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Greg Ennis, said: “What is of particular concern to our members is that the approach being taken by Irish Rail management in the current protracted talks process would seem to be a mirror image of that adopted by Bus Éireann management earlier this year. That intransigence ultimately led to our members being forced to undertake a three week strike which paralysed public bus services throughout the country. “SIPTU members do not wish to see a similar shut down of the rail network which would include DART services. However, our almost 2,000 members in Irish Rail will use all the leverage at their disposal in their pursuit of a legitimate pay claim which follows almost ten-years of a pay freeze. "Irish Rail workers will no longer continue to subsidise the service by what in real terms amounts to ongoing decreases in pay. SIPTU members are calling on the Board of CIE and Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, to work to avoid unnecessary disruption to the travelling public in the weeks ahead." He added: “The upcoming conciliation conference at the WRC may well offer the final opportunity to address our members’ legitimate pay claim before they are forced to consider industrial action. It is an opportunity it is hoped that the management of Irish Rail and CIE will not squander.” SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “At the talks, SIPTU representatives will demand that the company commences discussion on a flat rate pay increase across the board for all employees. Management in Irish Rail cannot sustain a position of indefinitely denying workers a pay increase when the situation of increasing pay for workers in other companies in the transport sector is taken into consideration.“Our members have had enough of posturing and unless the company begins discussing such a flat rate pay increase they will have no option but to consider commencing a ballot for industrial and strike action in Irish Rail.”