Rail users' lobby group Platform 11 has condemned today's unofficial strike by a number of Iarnód Éireann drivers which have crippled rail services in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, but said it was not shocked by the dispute.
"On April 11, Platform 11 issued a press release outlining how industrial relation problems were delaying the introduction to service of the Iarnód Éireann latest intercity train. Iarnód Éireann in response denied any industrial relations difficulties with relation to these train," said a Platform 11 spokesman.
"Today's action is proof that the industrial relations problems are far from solved and Platform 11 fears have been vindicated."
The action this morning has led to the cancellation of all services out of Kent Station in Cork and is also affecting the Cork/Cobh commuter route and the Tralee line.
Drivers in Dublin’s Inchicore depot and in Limerick, meanwhile, have downed tools in solidarity with their Cork colleagues, leading to the cancellation of all services out of Heuston Station and on the Limerick line.
Iarnód Éireann said the drivers’ claim for more pay and fewer working hours had already been rejected by the state’s industrial relations machinery.
“Drivers are attempting to use a matter that the Labour Court has definitively ruled on in January, and use service improvements to customers, as leverage to secure concessions on completely separate issues,” the company said in a statement.
“This is all the more unacceptable given the company’s commitment to progress these issues substantively.
“The resolution of this dispute is in the hands of the drivers, who are currently taking this unofficial action, and Iarnód Éireann has called on them to return to work and ensure that our customers are not further inconvenienced.
“Iarnód Éireann would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of this unofficial action.”
Dart services are operating as normal, as are commuter and mainline services in and out of Connolly station.