Following the rejection of a Labour Court recommendation on past productivity and a pre-emptive decision by Irish Rail management to unilaterally implement its plans for driver mentoring on 12th February, members of SIPTU who drive inter-city rail and DART trains will commence a ballot for strike action. The recommendation included a proposal that would remove the voluntary nature of the driver mentoring arrangements and was rejected by a majority of 83% of union members who voted. SIPTU representatives met with management on Thursday, 1st February, in an attempt to discuss terms and conditions including the issue of the reduction in the working week which has been a long standing demand of union members. They believe that a resolution of this issue could help to resolve other outstanding productivity matters, including the company’s proposals for driver mentoring.  Following the meeting, management wrote to the trade unions in Irish Rail and informed them that it would be proceeding with its driver mentoring proposals on the 12th February.  The strike ballot will commence in the coming days and the result is expected within two weeks.