Train services back on track as strike ends

Train services to and from Cork returned to normal today after a two-day unofficial strike by railway maintenance staff in the city ended.

Train services to and from Cork returned to normal today after a two-day unofficial strike by railway maintenance staff in the city ended.

Iarnód Éireann said trains to and from Kent Station in Cork and on the Cork-Cobh route had resumed their usual timetables following the stoppage, which affected thousands of passengers yesterday evening and this morning.

It is understood striking staff agreed to return to work following an invitation from the company to enter conciliation talks.

An Iarnód Éireann spokeswoman said: “Between 10am and 10.30am this morning, senior trade unionists were engaging in talks with their people down in Cork and they encouraged them to return to work and thankfully the staff members involved in the unofficial industrial action have returned to work.

“Thankfully now, services have resumed as normal.

“Services on the Cork-Cobh commuter route are now operating normally and we expect our intercity service on the Cork-Dublin route to resume as normal.”

Many passengers had been accommodated on a substitute bus service since yesterday afternoon following the decision of line maintenance staff to down tools after being asked to do work they claimed was line renewal and not maintenance.

But John Keenan of Iarnód Éireann said the renewal work had been going on for years and rosters relating to the disputed work had been issued in July with no objections lodged.

“What appears to be at play here is that somebody in Cork has decided there may be an opportunity to lever additional pay for renewals work so it’s not so much that they are objecting to working on renewals work, they’re saying that they want additional pay,” he said.

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