Key moments that led to today's train strike

Luas

In early 2016, a four-month pay dispute by Luas drivers led to the shutdown of the tram service for 12 days.

The bitter dispute disrupted over 1,000,000 passenger journeys, and cost Luas operator Transdev €1.2m in fines, while workers lost pay.

It ended when drivers accepted a Labour Court recommendation, which included wage increases of up to 18.3% and the reversal of cuts to drivers' benefits.

Industrial observers then braced for the extent for which the Luas settlement would be relied on as a precedent for claims mounting in the CIÉ group.

The big fear in the economy was knock-on claims from others in the transport industry.

Dublin Bus

Just months after the Luas strike, a dispute on workers' pay at Dublin Bus paralysed bus services for six days in September 2016.

Further strikes were suspended pending a ballot of staff following talks between management and unions at the Workplace Relations Commission.

The deal saw staff receive pay rises totalling 11.25% over three years, which equates to 3.75% a year - around the same as the Luas deal but significantly higher than average awards elsewhere, in the private sector.

It represented a significant improvement on the 8.25% (2.75% per year) increase on offer under a Labour Court recommendation previously rejected by the workforce.

The deal was not linked to additional productivity.

But when SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union voted to accept the pay proposals, they warned that they still had pay claims in at other CIÉ Group companies – Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann.

SIPTU at the time said it would be building on the achievement of the Luas and the Dublin Bus outcomes – seeing those settlements as the benchmark as far as the unions were concerned.

Bus Éireann

In early 2017, Bus Éireann services came to a standstill for 21 days.

A few months earlier, Minister for Transport Shane Ross had given a stark briefing to his Cabinet colleagues on the financial position of the company.

He said it was at a crisis point and if it continued as it was going it could become insolvent within two years.

As management and unions attended the Labour Court to address a union pay claim of up to 21%, Mr Ross said the company could not afford pay rises.

In stark contrast to the pay rises for Luas and Dublin Bus drivers, this dispute ended when unions accepted Labour Court recommendations which included 200 job losses, pay cuts and freezes on increments.

Iarnród Éireann

Last month, unions at Iarnród Éireann announced five 24-hour strikes after talks on their dispute over pay collapsed.

Staff who have not had a pay rise for almost a decade want a "no strings attached" increase of 3.75% per year – in line with the increases secured by Luas and Dublin bus workers.

Iarnród Éireann warned that it was "dangerously close to insolvency" and that industrial action would make matters even worse.

Management at the company have also accused the unions of rejecting a deal offering 1.75% for one year, with further improvements possible subject to productivity.

Today is the first of five stoppages: other one-day stoppages are planned for 7, 14, and 23 November, and 8 December.

The action on 14 November coincides with the Republic of Ireland v Denmark World Cup play-off at Lansdowne Road, while further stoppages have not been ruled out if the dispute is not resolved.

The strike will disrupt the travel plans of 155,000 people and cost the company €900,000 per day.

It will hit 70,000 Dart users, 45,000 users of commuter services, and 40,000 Intercity customers.

Funding

A key theme running through all these disputes in the transport sector is Government funding.

When the Dublin Bus dispute endedunions warned that the simmering dispute about the level of State subvention that goes to public transport was unresolved and that they would be continuing to campaign on that.

It is also a key issue in the Iarnród Éireann dispute with unions arguing the company is underfunded by around €100m per year. They are calling on the Government to make that funding available.

They believe that given the lack of pay increases, they are subsidising an underfunded company.

But Minister for Transport Shane Ross has previously said he will not "ride in on a white horse in shining armour" with a chequebook to solve industrial disputes.

Read more Irish news on the city guide of Dublin.

rte.ie
NEWS IRELAND LENS IARNRÓDÉIREANN
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
A new programme aimed at helping immigrant teachers find work in Irish schools opens to applicants today. The course, at Dublin’s Marino Institute of Education, aims to provide immigrants who are qualified teachers, but not working as such, with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enable them to find employment here. Recent research has found that while Ireland’s school student population is now highly diverse, teachers here continue to be overwhelmin...
Society
EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text that deals with the Irish border, RTÉ News understands. The text was agreed at around 9pm last night and then transmitted to Downing Street. While two well-placed sources have confirmed that the text was "as stable as it can be", they say it would not be correct to say that the negotiations have "concluded". According to both sources, there will be one backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The ba...
Politics
The Cabinet will meet this morning to consider developments around the draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement. Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar put his colleagues on standby for this morning's meeting, which is due to be held at 9.30am. Mr Varadkar and the Tánaiste will update their Government colleagues on what has happened over the last 24 hours. It follows a meeting last night between Mr Varadkar, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Finance Pasch...
Society
A number of events have taken place around the country and in Northern Ireland to mark the centenary of the ending of World War I. Locations where ceremonies have taken place include Belfast, Enniskillen, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Galway and Tipperary. In Cork city, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on the Grand Parade. He was joined by relatives of those who died in WWI and members of the Cork branch of the...
Society
The two men who were arrested in Athy, Co Kildare yesterday in the investigation into the murder of David Boland have been released without charge today. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions as the investigation continues, said a garda spokesperson. David Boland, 34, was stabbed multiple times during an incident on Duke Street in Athy, in the early hours of Thursday 1 November. A total of four people have been arrested to date as...
Society
Dublin City Council is set to spend €1.6 million on the removal of discarded chewing gum in public areas. The local authority is seeking tenders for a contract to remove gum from footpaths and pedestrianised zones throughout litter blackspots in its administrative area over the next three years. It expects to spend €1.6 million plus VAT on these services, according to tender documents. The huge cost of removing chewing gum from public areas comes despite r...
Society
It's not the first incident that has caused delays in Dublin this morning. An Irish Rail service heading into Dublin faced a huge delay this morning after hitting a sheep. The 7.05am service from Sligo to Dublin's Connolly Station was left delayed for 45 minutes due to the incident. Passengers have been warned to expect some knock-on delays as a result. Irish Rail said: "07:05hrs Sligo/Connolly will be delayed up to 45mins arriving in Connolly due to the s...
Society
Precarious work is causing hardship to workers and their families, and reinforcing inequality, insecurity and deprivation in the workforce, according to the latest research from the Think tank for Action on Social Change. The report, entitled "Precarious Work, Precarious Lives", notes that precarious work forces many to rely on social protection from the taxpayer to compensate for their irregular hours and income. It found 44% of Irish workers do not have...
Society
A new study which looked at the lives of nine-year-olds shows poorer outcomes for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The Growing Up in Ireland research, carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute, shows an improvement in the families ability to make ends meet since 2013, but found that not all families benefitted from the economic up-turn. The research was carried out on group of nine-year-olds who spent many of their early year...