Latest: Iarnród Éireann welcomes invitation from Labour Court

Update 3.12pm: Iarnród Éireann has welcomed the invitation from the Labour Court to a hearing tomorrow concerning the current industrial dispute.

The company said that it has been consistent in its position that the industrial relations machinery of the State provides the only forum where the current issues can be addressed and resolved.

"While at this time Iarnród Éireann has not been advised of a withdrawal by trade unions of the further dates of industrial action (14th and 23rd November, 8th December), the company hopes that the issues can be resolved in a manner that ensures customers suffer no further disruption to services," an Iarnród Éireann statement read.

Earlier:

The National Bus and Rail Union and SIPTU have accepted an invitation from the Labour Court to discuss the rail dispute.

However, the NBRU have cautioned against expectations of a resolution at tomorrow's hearing.

After yesterday's 24-hour stoppage another three days of strikes are planned for November and December.

SIPTU's Greg Ennis said: "We have confirmed that SIPTU representatives will attend the hearing with a view to achieving an acceptable resolution of the pay dispute."

Yesterday's strike, the second in a planned series of five, affected 70,000 Dart passengers, 45,000 commuter passengers and another 40,000 InterCity passengers.

NBRU General Secretary, Dermot O'Leary, said: "Whilst accepting that the Labour Courts invitation is a potential step forward in attempting to resolve this debilitating and unnecessary dispute, it should be borne in mind that the intransigence displayed by Irish Rail management, led it should be said by the CEO, together with tacit support from the Department of Transport, will make an overall resolution to this dispute more difficult than it might otherwise have been, had the company (over recent weeks), acted in an appropriate manner, with both its own staff and the State’s third party industrial relations institutions."

"The extraordinary statement by the Taoiseach in the Dáil yesterday, where he singled out the State-owned Córas Iompair Éireann Group of companies by suggesting it is 'always necessary' to have a few days of strikes, (when other transport links do not result in that), neglecting to mention that our colleagues in the privately operated Luas were involved in 12 days of strikes in their pay dispute, clearly demonstrated a Blueshirt bias at the heart of Government against the State-owned public transport providers.

"The awarding of State contracts, (by the NTA), which contain little or no provision for pay rises is a matter that will require to be urgently addressed.

"The alternative is that the spectre of public transport disputes, creating economic hardship in their wake, will hang over the country in the months and years ahead."


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