Dublin transport set for chaos as DART drivers announce strike

DART drivers are set to go on strike, it was confirmed today.

SIPTU said that its members have voted unanimously in favour of the action over Irish Rail's plans to introduce new rosters for a 10-minute service at the company.

Drivers say the change should be an integral part of productivity discussions which lead to action by train drivers last year.

SIPTU has yet to announce the details of the strike.

Earlier today, it was announced that Luas staff are to stage further strike action on Easter Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, in addition to the stoppages already announced for March 8 and St Patrick's Day.

"Our members see the introduction of a 10-minute DART service as an issue which should be an integral part of discussions on increasing productivity," said SIPTU's Paul Cullen.

"The failure of the company to effectively engage in such productivity discussions resulted in industrial action by all train drivers in Irish Rail during October and November 2015.

"Our members are deeply disappointed that the management of Irish Rail seems intent on provoking further conflict with workers.

"This is despite the Labour Court proposing a negotiation process which aims to create a forum where solutions can be found to productivity issues at the company.

"Introducing these rosters in April, as management is threatening, would be seen by our members as a deeply unfortunate and provocative move."

Update 6.15pm: Irish Rail says the issue has nothing to do with productivity.

Head of corporate communications Barry Kenny said that new drivers have been trained up to take on the extra work.

“We plan to introduce a 10-minute frequency DART service from the 10th of April to meet increasing demand,” he said.

“But this is not a productivity issue because we have trained up new drivers to ensure that we can deliver it within existing rostering arrangements.

“But we are, in any event, going to be discussing this matter at the Workplace Relations Commission, with our trade unions on the 14th of March, where these issues should be resolved.”

Update 8.00pm: Irish Rail and SIPTU are at logger heads over whether or not plans to increase Dart services are a productivity issue.

The union says drivers will go on strike if the company presses ahead with a new 10 minute roster next month.

SIPTU is urging Irish Rail to hold back on the plans until they meet at the Workplace Relations Commission.


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