Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD has criticised Minister Shane Ross for the approach he has taken in dealing with difficulties facing Irish Rail.
Deputy Troy made the comments after officials at SIPTU and the NBRU confirmed that they would ballot the 4,000 strong workforce at Irish Rail for strike action.
Deputy Troy said, “Minister Ross has known about the profound difficulties facing Irish Rail since taking office over a year ago. However he has failed to take any steps to help pave a sustainable way forward for the company. Fianna Fáil published extensive proposals last March aimed at addressing the financial difficulties facing Irish Rail. It’s disappointing that Minister Ross is yet to come forward with his own proposals to overcome the problems facing our national rail operator.
“It’s deeply disappointing that this situation has been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent that strike action is now on the cards. This will cause significant hardship for those that rely on Irish Rail services. It will also heighten the financial difficulties facing the company and will result in a significant loss of earnings for workers. Every effort must be made to avoid this situation from arising.
“Minister Ross needs to get his act together and move to resolve this situation. He previously committed to establishing a stakeholder forum to help identify solutions to overcome the problems facing Irish Rail but there has been absolutely no movement on this to date. He also needs to publish the outcome of the rail review process and demonstrate to workers and management that he is committed to securing the future of Irish Rail.
“Minister Ross’s tenure in office has been mired by significant disruption to public transport services. Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and LUAS services were all impacted by damaging industrial action which the Minister chose to ignore. The same fate is now facing Irish Rail services,” concluded Deputy Troy.