Thousands of rail passengers face the prospect of disruption around the October bank holiday weekend after pay talks broke downat the Workplace Relations Commission last night.
SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union are to ballot the 4,000 strong workforce for strike action -writes rte.ie.
Unions had been seeking increases of around 3.75% annually with no productivity strings attached.
However, leaving the talks, SIPTU Divisional Organiser Greg Ennis said that management had offered what he called a "derisory" a pay rise of just 1.5%.
He also claimed that the company had sought union acquiescence to the closure of rail lines in order to fund any potential pay rise.
Mr O'Leary appealed to the government and Transport Minister Shane Ross to intervene with more funding for public transport.
Iarnród Éireann Director of Human Resources Ciaran Masterson said the parties had discussed a myriad of items, but management could not meet the expectations of staff, particularly given their accumulated debt of €160m.
He said the company was open to re-engagement with the union side.
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