Rail services in Limerick to grind to a halt as workers plan strikes

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick.rabbitts@limerickleader.ie

Rail services in Limerick to grind to a halt as workers plan strike

Limerick's Colbert station

RAIL services from Limerick’s Colbert station are set to grind to a halt next week after workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.

Workers will go to the gate on Wednesday, November 1 for the first in a series of five 24-hour work stoppages over pay and conditions. Around 60 staff work for Irish Rail locally.

Walkouts are also planned for Tuesday, November 7, Tuesday, Nobvember 14, Thursday November 23 and Friday, December 8.

The action comes after talks between the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU), Siptu and other related unions with Irish Rail bosses broke down.

Over 90% of its members have voted for the industrial action as a result. Staff were looking for a pay rise in the region of 3.75%.

In a joint statement, officials at the NBRU, Siptu, Unite the TSSA and the TEEU said: “The responsibility for this dispute lies squarely with the chief executive and his management team at Irish Rail. The treatment meted out to staff over the last number of months, and in particular the debacle which occurred at the Workplace Relations Commission has been nothing short of contemptuous and will make a resolution to this dispute even more difficult, if not now impossible.”

Cllr Frankie Daly, who chairs the transport strategic policy committee, warned that the strike could drag into the festive season.

He said: “From my own point of view, I am in full support of the workers, and I think common sense needs to prevail. It’s coming up to Christmas, and if the trust breaks down even further, you will have stoppages in and around critical times coming up to Christmas, affecting people wishing to see their families. I feel for the workers.”

Cllr Daly also called on Transport Minister Shane Ross to intervene.

“It is a top-down approach again from the Irish Rail management. We have guys at the top dictating terms and conditions, putting proposals forward and fudging them,” he added.

Limerick is connected to Dublin, Galway and Ennis directly, plus Cork and Waterford indirectly.