Irish Rail recommendation signals welcome progress

unite-white-out-of-redUnite to ballot members as further strike days deferred

Progress would not have been achieved without determined action

November 10th:  Unite, which represents craft workers in Irish Rail, this evening confirmed that it will be balloting members on the recommendation issued by the Labour Court today.   Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said that the recommendation represented “welcome progress” which would not have been made without the determined action taken by workers.  Mr Quigley was also strongly critical of comments made last week by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar which, he said, were “dismissive of workers’ interests and concerns”.

“It is up to union members to decide whether or not to accept the recommendation issued this afternoon by the Labour Court.

“What is clear this evening is that the Labour Court largely accepted the arguments made by the unions. It is the determined action by Irish Rail workers acting collectively that secured this welcome progress and has brought us to the point where we now have a recommendation which unions can put to their members, and which – if accepted – will mean a 7.5% increase over three years, the first increase of 2.5% to take effect on December 1st, together with a cash payment.

“Unite also welcomes the Labour Court’s renewed endorsement of the unions’ demand for a stakeholder forum which would also consider the wider issues surrounding public transport in Ireland, and we would urge Transport Minister Shane Ross to abandon his policy of studied inaction and move on this without further delay.

“The Taoiseach’s comments implying that industrial action would have no effect on an eventual pay deal were dismissive of workers’ interests and concerns and, together with Transport Minister Shane Ross’ studied inaction, have done nothing to improve the industrial relations climate in our public transport system.  Our members also take exception to the Taoiseach’s implication that investment must take priority over pay increases.  The Taoiseach appears not to realise that fair pay for workers is an investment, not only in Irish Rail’s human infrastructure but also in the wider economy where the wages are spent.

“The progress achieved is down to the determination showed by the workers, and the hard work put in by the State’s industrial relations mechanisms.   It owes nothing to the off-stage noises made by the Taoiseach and Irish Rail CEO David Franks.

“Finally, our members are deeply appreciative of the support and understanding shown by the travelling public over recent weeks”, Mr Quigley concluded.

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