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Unread 28-06-2006, 08:14   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default [unoffical strike action] Disruption at Mallow

Here we go again
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Travel Alerts
Some disruption to early Cork and Kerry services by Corporate Communications

Due to unofficial action being taken by two members of the NBRU in Mallow, there is some disruption to rail services from Cork and Kerry this morning.

The 0530 Cork-Heuston service is cancelled between Mallow and Limerick Junction. Train service will operate onwards from Limerick Junction. Alternative transfer has been provided for Cork and Mallow customers.

0655 Tralee-Heuston will operate from Tralee to Mallow only. Onward transfer by bus is arranged for customers.

No other services are expected to be affected.

The unofficial action arises from disciplinary action being taken against an individual in respect of failing to discharge their duties. The individual and one colleague (both station staff in Mallow), rather than work through the proper procedures agreed between Iarnród Éireann and its trade unions, have abandoned these processes and staged this action, which is unjustifiable.

We urge that they cease this unofficial action immediately, and also urge the NBRU to do all in their power to ensure that agreed procedures are followed, and unnecessary disruption avoided.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 08:31   #2
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I really hope they get fired. I wouldn't wish that on any one but a message needs to be sent that deciding not to adhere to procedures and then striking when disciplined will not be accepted.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 08:45   #3
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There is something funny going on how can 2 station staff cancel a train ?

The driver and guard are the only 2 people required onboard, no need for a ticket checker or anyone on the platform to assist, Mallow could be unstaffed trains could still stop. All signalling is controlled from Dublin

The 5:30 ex Cork appears to have run empty to Limerick Junction
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Unread 28-06-2006, 09:30   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
There is something funny going on how can 2 station staff cancel a train ?

The driver and guard are the only 2 people required onboard, no need for a ticket checker or anyone on the platform to assist, Mallow could be unstaffed trains could still stop. All signalling is controlled from Dublin

The 5:30 ex Cork appears to have run empty to Limerick Junction
So, Cork passengers were bussed to Limerick Junction to meet a train that left Cork anyway. I could understand if they chose not to stop in Mallow, but that is just odd.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 09:37   #5
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As is often the case Iarnrod Eireann are not being honest and as they have in the been complicit in allowing the unofficial action to impact well beyond its scope (1,2)

Its highly unlikely that the 2 car 2700 arrow set at Limerick Junction would be sent in it place and we have no reports of that happening


(1) Note during protests re CIE future DART drivers were facilated by management by terminating trains in Pearse, this is not standard practice
(2) During the Cork strike Irish Rail management breach trust at a delicate stage of negotiations

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 28-06-2006 at 09:48.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 10:36   #6
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Latest info from Mallow indicates that the Iarnrod Eireann statement is false and misleading

The two staff involved are in fact a ticket checker and a guard, they are not station staff as quoted. The ticket checker was disciplined

Still doesn't explain the 5:30 ex Cork being effected which has a Cork crew

Bonus points if you can work out why the guard is on strike as well, its quite easy if you know how old CIE worked
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Unread 28-06-2006, 11:00   #7
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Having read the above post at 11:41 Irish Rail have revised their story and have removed 'station staff' from the statement

1 0 to P11 so, honesty is the best policy its something Irish Rail need to learn
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Unread 28-06-2006, 13:55   #8
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I was meant to catch the 11:24 service from Portlaoise but one of the station staff came around at 11:15 saying that is was delayed by hald an hour and that there would be another train along in "about 3 minutes" which was only 3 carriages long and would be very full. No actual announcement was made.

At 11:50 a tiny train which according to passengers who travelled from Limerick is the train that usually link Limerick with the Junction arrived. It was pretty full but I got on anyway as I was late. Once everyone was packed in the driver announced "Please note this train will serve Heuston station dublin only, please stand clear of doors as they are about to close". There was one person on the train who was going to Portarlington and he couldn't get to the doors before they closed.

There was no communication button that I could find and I couldn't really move around to try and find one as it was very full so I rang the station in Portlaoise. I explained the problem to him and he told me he would get the train to stop in Portalington. The train went through Portarlington without stopping so I rang Portlaoise back. He said he was told it was going to stop in Portarlington so he took my number and said he would ring me back. He rang me back a few minutes later and told me that they had no way of communicating with the driver and that the train would have to go non stop to Dublin. The only announcement made about this train only going to Dublin was when we had boarded the train. No announcement of any delay was made over the PA system in the station.

When we got into Dublin I helped the Portarlington person (who was polish and had very little English) at the information desk that he needed to get back the Portarlington. The man from the station in Portlaoise had rang ahead and he was escorted to the train.

There was an apology when we were pulling into Hueston apologising for the people who had to stand.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 14:07   #9
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That was the tail end of the 6:55 out of Tralee (its sitting in Mallow), the connecting train from Limerick was held for the bus from Mallow and since its only capable of 70mph it would lose a heap of time (+20 minutes) on the way to Dublin. Its not scheduled to call in Port Laois anyway

The 9:30 ex Cork was be delayed by 20 minutes due to enginnering works
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Unread 28-06-2006, 14:29   #10
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The 11:24 should stop in Portlaoise and Portarlington and Kildare and as no announcement was made, some people assumed the train arriving at 11:50 was the 11:24 seeing as how that hadn't arrived yet either
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Unread 28-06-2006, 14:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandraoh
He rang me back a few minutes later and told me that they had no way of communicating with the driver .
Surely that shouldn't be. Mark?
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Unread 28-06-2006, 15:04   #12
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Full radio coverage is provided from Cobh to Heuston, question is the time from Port Laois getting the call to the station master in Port Laois approving it and ringing Connolly and talking to the regulator who in turn might have to seek approval then call the driver, there was a 10 minute window to do it it should have been possible. The train radio is a required item it must be working, even if the driver had not set up the train id correctly (quite possible given the fact the train was not really timetabled) there is a broadcast mode where everyone hears

In the old days the Port Loais signalman would ring Portarlington who would then force the train to stop

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 28-06-2006 at 15:06.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 15:39   #13
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I sometimes wonder if IE unions are full of plants from some private railway investment company who desperately wants to see IE privatised.

It seems like they're making absolutely every effort to insure that the Government, with full public support, sells them off to someone with a ryanair approach to business.

Behaving like this is signing their own public-sector death warrent.

You simply cannot behave like this and hold up the entire country on the basis that you're having a bit of a spat with your employer.

IE would be within their rights to sue these guys or at the very least seek highcourt injuctions against them.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 17:04   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson
In the old days the Port Loais signalman would ring Portarlington who would then force the train to stop
He told me initially that he had rang Portarlington and that the train would stop after I rang him and told him he didn't he rang Portarlington again and they said they couldn't communicate with the driver. I mean surely it could have stopped in Monasterevan or Kildare to save the guy going to whole way to dublin?

Should have all been announced before the train arrived really
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Unread 28-06-2006, 18:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandraoh
Should have all been announced before the train arrived really
Well exactly that what should have happened

Absolutely no point to call Portarlington they are equally powerless
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Unread 28-06-2006, 19:48   #16
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Happy to report that my sources are doing a fine job. If you're reading, thank you very much for your information today.

IEs online statement was too vague and should explain to people, exactly why the service is disrupted. Passengers are entitled to know why they have to get off the train. Considering the last fiasco and IEs "spin", it would be very easy for effected passengers to blame the drivers for todays cancellations. The last dispute was not actually caused by drivers. IE management decided to use the "new train" as an issue to provoke staff. P11 will continue to promote the issue of "management accountability" during any further industrial unrest as from information we have received, there appears to be a 3 way split developing.

1. Management
2.Unions
3. Staff

At the top of this little tree is management. While rail unions have traditionally been very difficult beasts to deal with, its becoming very apparent that "management" have started to handle the "unions" in a better fashion, but "unions" are forgetting about the basic needs of their members in their quest for power. Many IE staff have genuine issues that have nothing to do with money, disciplinary proceedures etc. But they find that both management and unions have no interest. The "more money" culture formed by greedy unions and some staff, has destroyed the chance of harmony, promoted a power scramble and influenced public opinion against IE staff. Not all of them are in the job to "get as much money as possible". Those who have followed this road have given the bad name to a situation that many of us are aware of.

Arrogant Management/Power Crazed Unions = Poor industrial relations/neglected staff/disrupted customers.

Management should do the job of managing a railway that promotes an excellent standard of service to customers and an excellent working environment for staff. This is where a real transformation of the network can begin. I often wonder if IE management are still stuck in the same "timewarp" as certain employees who see the job as one for life without any accountability. Real leadership comes from the top down.
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Unread 28-06-2006, 20:39   #17
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Default RTE cover story on News at One

http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0628/rail.html
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Unread 28-06-2006, 22:00   #18
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Regular posters and guests who read our website and this board will recall that on more than one occasion it was stated that IE managment had found a ground they could beat the unions on - the CDE - and that was what happened. 30,000 people were messed around due to idiotic power plays which primary schoolchildren would be ashamed of. It is a fact that sparodic action like todays has happened in the past and will do so again in the future but they only happen because of the mindsets of the people who are supposed to meet at the negotiating table.
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Unread 29-06-2006, 08:09   #19
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Quote:
Unofficial picket delays scores of passengers as trains brought to a halt

By Sean O’Riordan
SCORES of angry rail passengers were left stranded yesterday morning after an unofficial picket was placed by a father and son at a key Cork-Kerry rail junction.

Many commuters are believed to have missed flights and important meetings in Dublin as a result of the action by the Mallow-based railway workers, which Iarnród Éireann claims was sparked by one of them being disciplined for “failing to discharge his duties”.

Paul Keating was joined in the action by his father David and some SIPTU and NBRU members refused to pass their picket.

As a result, the 5.30am Cork-Heuston train was terminated at Mallow and a bus was arranged to take around 30 passengers to Limerick Junction, where they were able to catch another train. The 6.55am train from Tralee to Heuston was also stopped at Mallow.

Around 140 of its passengers, including a school tour from Kerry, were told they could take a bus to Dublin, or wait for the 9.30am train. The vast majority chose the latter option.

Dingle-based marine expert Kevin Flannery said commuters were very angry that just a couple of people could hold the railway system to ransom. He had an important meeting in Dublin at noon, but at that time he was still stuck on the train at Portlaoise.

“I’ll have to try and reschedule it (the meeting) for 5pm and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get a train back,” he said. “We only found out about the disruption just as we were about to arrive in Mallow. A lot of people are very upset and very angry. A number of people who were travelling to get flights will miss them.”

An Iarnród Éireann spokesman said he regretted the disruption caused to passengers. “The unofficial action arose from disciplinary action being taken against an individual in respect of failing to discharge their duties. The individual and a colleague, rather than work through the proper procedures agreed between Iarnród Éireann and its trade unions, abandoned these processes and staged this action, which is unjustifiable,” the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the NBRU said procedures had been put in place between the union and Iarnród Éireann to address the disciplinary matter and it had recommended its members to stay within them.

The action, he added, was not supported by the union, which had instructed members who hadn’t passed the picket line to return to work yesterday afternoon, which they did.
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Unread 29-06-2006, 14:16   #20
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I think it's high time that IE had a major structural overhall. They clearly have massive internal issues that need to be resolved before we can have anything approaching a reliable train service.

These kind of wildcat strikes are totally uncalled for. In any healthy industrial relations environment there should be proper channels for discussion and negotiation between management and staff.

I constantly get the impression that IE suffers from a 19th century mangement vs worker dichotomy that creates an "us" and "them" attitude. It's about time that the whole company was reformed, given a serious shake up and made function a little more efficiently.

From what I can see it's a 19th century hierarchy with all of the problems that that structure tends to create.


----

Perhaps if management, workers and unions can't agree a way forward they should be locked into a 2600 DMU at crush load and driven up and down the bumpiest piece of track you can find for several days with nothing except a diet of their own chicken and stuffing sandwiches with warm mineral water. They'd crack eventually! (much like their customers)

Last edited by MrX : 29-06-2006 at 14:18.
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