Irish Rail management and Minister Ross must step up to resolve dispute

20 October 2017

Following the overwhelming vote by trade unions in Irish Rail to take industrial action following a collapse in talks, Labour spokesperson on Transport, Senator Kevin Humphreys has called on Irish Rail management and Minister for Transport Shane Ross to step up and resolve the situation.

Senator Humphreys said:

“I am deeply disturbed that talks to resolve industrial action at Irish Rail collapsed at the last moment due to what appears to have been interference by management.

“This is a result of management failing to negotiate pay claims by staff that all would recognise as reasonable.

“Once again we see that management at a vital public service is prepared to take a company to the brink using threats of financial unviability.

“Workers at Irish Rail have not had any increase in pay for a decade now. It is only fair that management should engage in good faith on what are reasonable demands for improvements in terms and conditions.

“The negotiating strategy being used by management is reckless. It is incumbent on Minister Shane Ross to now intervene.

“Over the last 18 months we have seen an abdication of leadership from the Transport Minister, and a failure to address the reasonable concerns of staff across public transport companies.

“At the heart of these disputes has been a failure by the Government to commit to appropriate levels of funding for vital public transport services. Once again the Budget failed to deliver on the needs of a growing economy that requires investment in vital public services.”

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