Statement on the threatened industrial action at Irish Rail by Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD

21st August, 2014

“It is extremely disappointing that the threatened industrial strike action planned to commence at Irish Rail on Sunday 24th August looks set to go ahead. Every effort has been made over 20 months of negotiations, with a number of interventions by the State’s industrial relations machinery, to resolve the matter. The action being taken by SIPTU and NBRU members will result in massive disruption on a number of fronts; it will cause considerable inconvenience to rail users, it puts jobs at risk at Irish Rail, and it will add to the further deterioration of the company’s financial situation.


“Irish Rail is making every effort to address its precarious financial position. While the impact of pay cuts on people in any organisation is always difficult, the Labour Court has stated that the cost saving measures sought by the company are ‘unavoidable if the future of the company and the employment it maintains is to be protected’.


“All sides have accepted that there is a financial crisis at Irish Rail and I remain strongly supportive of the efforts to secure the company’s financial sustainability. I acknowledge the changes that have been delivered by workers to date and also the contribution that would be made by them in accepting these cuts. I also recognise the significant number of employees within Irish Rail who have voted to accept the pay cuts, which, in some cases, have already been implemented.


“There can be no winners if this strike action goes ahead. It will contribute nothing to the company’s prospects or to furthering its role in serving the public. I am appealing to the Unions involved to call off the actions proposed, even at this late stage, in the interest of the future viability of Irish Rail.


“Given that industrial action now looks set to go ahead, I also welcome the fact that the CEO of Irish Rail, David Franks, will return to Ireland this weekend.”



Note to editors:

The NTA will update its website ( on a daily basis to assist the public in respect of alternative means of public transport.