Commuters facing travel chaos as strikes to go ahead on bank holiday weekend
Commuters are facing travel chaos over the next few weeks after Irish Rail train drivers announced they would be taking part in two three-hour work stoppages.
The drivers will begin stoppages on October 23 and November 6 during the height of commuter services, throwing many people’s travel plans into disarray.
The stoppages will affect Dart, commuter and inter-city services from 6am to 9am on the two mornings.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has described the announcement as “very disappointing”, but has urged both unions to enter talks with the company.
“Industrial action at Irish Rail will massively inconvenience the public and have a damaging effect on the company’s finances,” said the minister.
The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has said the stoppages are in response “to Irish Rail’s refusal to honour the agreement to discuss past productivity”.
Dermot O’Leary, general secretary of the NBRU, said it was regrettable that Irish Rail had chosen to “ignore a Labour Relations-brokered agreement relating to productivity”.
He said the staff who were taking part in the stoppages were left with “no other option”.
Mr O’Leary maintained that Irish Rail had “chosen conflict over adherence to agreements – responsibility to the taxpayer, their passengers and staff should be the dominant feature in addressing any industrial relations issue at the company”.
Irish Rail has urged the drivers to call off the stoppage, saying the action will only damage customer confidence and demand, as well as “the finances of the company and ultimately the interests of all employees”.
They also said it is “only dialogue, not disruption, which will resolve this issue”.
Siptu organiser Paul Cullen has said that the decision for the two stoppages is indicative of “the level of frustration felt” by the drivers.