Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Transport Timmy Dooley TD has called on Minister Paschal Donohoe to intervene in the growing dispute between management and workers at Irish Rail.
Deputy Dooley made the comments following the breakdown in negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission in the early hours of this morning.
“Minister Donohoe has so far taken a hands off approach to this dispute in the false hope that it would resolve itself. This strategy has failed and the prospect of a strike at Irish Rail next Friday is growing by the hour,” said Deputy Dooley.
“Intercity, Commuter and DART services all face significant disruption should a strike take place. The withdrawal of these services will have a major impact on commercial activity and will also be a major inconvenience for commuters, tourists and older people who use rail transport on a daily basis. Next Friday is one of the busiest weekends of the year on account of the bank holiday, so any stoppage will cause significant disruption.
“There has been a significant reduction in funding for public transport investment in recent years following the economic downturn. Workers at Irish Rail have serious concerns regarding the future direction the company is taking. They feel that they are being treated shabbily and are at unease due to the Governments handling of the privatization of bus routes.
“This is no longer just a matter between management at Irish Rail and unions representing workers. I call on Minister Donohoe to proactively engage with both sides to secure a satisfactory outcome and ensure any disruption to the public is minimised. The Minister needs to be part of the solution instead of casually observing from the side-lines,” concluded Deputy Dooley.