Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar and Minister of State Alan Kelly have expressed deep disappointment with the outcome of the ballots on cost saving measures at Iarnród Éireann.
While both Ministers commend those within the company who have voted to accept the measures, it is regrettable that a number of unions have rejected the various efforts in the Labour Relations Commission to reach agreement.
There have already been substantial fare increases and there is no scope for an increase in the Government subvention. Therefore payroll savings are needed to protect existing service levels and jobs as part of the solutions to the financial challenges facing the company. Management at Iarnród Éireann will now have to consider how best to proceed with the implementation of the necessary measures.
SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “Our members were unable to accept these proposals.
“Members are concerned that while they have taken measures in recognition of the financial position of the company over the past three years, similar reductions in non-payroll and managerial costs have not been pursued with the same vigour. The members also question the Government’s commitment to the public transport network given the lack of funding for the service.”
He added: “SIPTU representatives remain available to enter into negotiations with the management of Irish Rail on all issues of concern related to the proper maintenance of this vital public service.”
Both Ministers called on the unions to re-enter talks with Iarnród Éireann.