Irish Rail 'not closing door on talks' as strike looms; CEO on way home from holiday

Irish Rail has said it will not close the door on talks with unions planning a campaign of industrial action at the company.

Members of the National Bus and Rail Union and SIPTU will engage in a 48-hour work stoppage from Sunday over Labour Court-backed pay cuts of up to 6%.

They are also threatening to hold two 24-hour stoppages on the days of both All Ireland finals next month (September 7 and September 21), and a further stoppage on September 8.

Irish Rail's chief executive David Franks will return from holiday in Mauritius early tomorrow to lead the company's response.

Spokesperson Barry Kenny said Irish Rail is open to talks, but the pay cuts must go ahead.

"We've had 20 months of talks in trying to achieve these payroll savings," he said. "When you've a situation that the Labour Court says the measures we're taking are unavoidable if the future of the company (is) to be protected, it shows how stark this is.

"We certainly won't close the door on contact with our trade unions. There's no need for these two days of disruption. There certainly should be no need for five."

KEYWORDS: Irish Rail
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