Strikes loom as Irish Rail vows to press ahead with pay cuts

Irish Rail has confirmed that it will implement pay cuts later this month, despite objections from unions.

The company said that it has formally advised its trade unions and workers that the company will implement measures to achieve payroll savings across its workforce from Sunday, August 24.

The proposals involve a temporary cut of basic pay - ranging from 1.7% for staff earning less than €56,000 and up to 6.1% for those earning €100,000 or more.

SIPTU organiser Paul Cullen says he expects the 2,000 SIPTU workers at Irish Rail will go on strike.

"It could be a case of the one or two day rolling strike encompassing some work-to-rule in addition to this as well

But details of that will be given out next week after the rail committee meets."

The National Bus & Rail Union issued a similar warning.

NBRU general secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "Our members have rejected proposals over three separate ballots, we have been telling the Company and the Government that our members are not prepared to plug the funding gap created by the reduction in subvention back to 1998 levels.

"This is yet another example of a public service being starved of the necessary support to maintain its current service levels.

"Our members have not had a pay rise since 2008 and have contributed enormously and without recognition, to the evolvement of a modern rail system."

"We will now, in the face of this provocative move by the company, immediately ballot for industrial action up to and including all-out strike, the responsibility for any subsequent industrial action lies squarely with the company and the Government"

Corporate Communications manager with Irish Rail, Barry Kenny, said that the "vast majority" of staff will have pay cut at the lower 1.7% level.

"The measures are absolutely essential as part of a wider effort to correct the company's finances, which are in a very precarious situation."

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