Train drivers to be balloted

Thousands of commuters could face travel disruption following a decision by train driver unions to ballot for industrial action after talks with Iarnród Éireann broke down last week.

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) and Siptu confirmed they would next week seek a mandate from driver members for action that could include stoppages on Dart, commuter, and national rail services.

The move comes following a breakdown in talks last week at the Labour Relations Commission. The LRC talks centred on part of a deal hammered out last September, when drivers agreed to a pay cut over 25 months. The deal at that point, unions say, referenced recognition of past productivity.

The unions say Iarnród Éireann is refusing to honour that section of the deal.

NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary accused Iarnród Éireann of “attempting to apply Thatcherite- style solutions to industrial relations issues”.

“The anger among train drivers has been exacerbated by the response of the company following last week’s debacle at the LRC,” Mr O’Leary said.

“Shutting down debate or refusing to engage in an LRC conciliation is not how normal industrial relations are practiced.”

Iarnród Éireann, which has claimed it continues to lose over €1m a month, said last Tuesday that agreement was unable to be reached on “increasing pay to drivers for a range of historic issues some of which date back 15 years”. It added: “We offered to refer the matter to the Labour Court for recommendation but this was declined despite agreed procedures.”


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner