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Strike sees rail services cancelled from Limerick

Irish Rail workers on strike at Limerick Colbert Station this Monday morning

Irish Rail workers on strike at Limerick Colbert Station this Monday morning

  • by Nick Rabbitts
 

RAIL services out of Limerick’s Colbert station were suspended this week as staff completed a two-day walkout over proposed pay cuts.

And there are set to be further problems for passengers as the National Bus and Rail workers Union (NBRU) and Siptu prepare to strike on Sunday, September 6 and Monday, September 7.

Around 100,000 rail passengers were affected following the strike, which was caused when unions rejected proposals from Irish Rail on pay cuts of between 1.6% and 6%.

For its part, the semi-state firm has said it will run out of money next year if it does not cut wages now.

There are approximately 15 drivers affiliated to Siptu in Limerick, and 29 members affiliated to the NBRU, including four platform staff.

A picket of around 20 people was maintained throughout Sunday and Monday.

Local NBRU representative Dermot Mullane, who has been driving trains for 12 years, said: “The public have been really supportive. We have not had any negative comments from the public. Everyone has come up, and they are even asking us if we minded whether we went in to access the buses.”

On that matter, it was agreed that due to the way in which Limerick Colbert Station is structured - with buses and trains operating side-by-side - to let bus drivers cross the picket line to access their vehicles.

“We did not want to inconvenience the public too much. It’s bad enough what we are having to do. But we wanted to make it easy for passengers as possible,” Mr Mullane said.

Frank McDonald, chairman of SIPTU in Limerick reflected this.

Mr Mullane added: “People think we are looking for money, and we are not. We are only looking to keep what we have. They came to us with a cost control programme, and we gave them back accrued annual leave, and they told us they would not come to us for four years. But within eight months, they are back looking for a pay cut.”

 

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