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Strike Disruption

November 6th 2017

Approximately 155,000 passengers will be again needlessly disrupted. There remains an open invitation to return the matter to the Labour Court which the Unions refuse to accept but Irish Rail are willing to attend. This is utterly unacceptable and shows a lack of respect for the established industrial relations framework of the state.

The reality is Irish Rail is on the verge of insolvency, it can barely afford to maintain current service levels. Rightly or wrongly there is a perception that Irish Rail and the CIE group of companies are inefficient and providing a poor service for the significant tax payer support. As a result there is an unwillingness to put more money after bad, especially given the frequent threats of strike action.

Passengers have been promised a 10 minute DART service in Dublin, an all day Phoenix Park tunnel service, increased off peak frequency on the Maynooth line. These are now being used as a leverage by the unions despite the unions voting and accepting an agreement that timetable changes, new routes and new technology cannot be a basis for a wage claim back in 2000.

There is an immediate need for fundamental restructuring of Irish Rail to meet the needs of the 21st century to ensure it is structured and staffed to meet needs of the passenger and not that of it's unions.

Any additional financial support provided to Irish Rail must come with strict conditions and performance targets to ensure it delivers real and verifiable improvements for the passenger. Irish Rail must also comply with all its obligations laid down in law and regulation. Irish Rail has ignored the bulk of its responsibilities to its passengers as required by EC1371/2007 for close to a decade.

Refunds

Your rights per EC1371/2007 do not apply in the event of prior notice of strike action. Refunds are available for those who hold a valid ticket.

For passengers who booked online, a refund will be made automatically and directly to the credit/debit card used for the booking. No further bookings will be taken for the dates for strike action.

For monthly/annual ticket holders, upon resolution of the strike a single refund for all days will be available. Applications will only be taken for a refund once the strike action has been suspended.

For passengers holding an existing ticket valid for a strike day they may request a refund, either by downloading a form from the Irish Rail website, or directly from here or at staffed stations.

Alternative Travel

Rail tickets are not valid on any other operator during the strike, naturally all other transport providers will see an increase in demand. Car parks at Irish Rail stations will remain open and may be of assistance to commuters either using bus services or to park in Dublin Heuston, Connolly or Cork stations having driven.

For travel planning, please use www.a-b.ie this includes all scheduled transport services including those of private operators.

Financial Support

The reality is Irish Rail has been starved of funding for many years. This has lead to the withdrawal from service of 38 carriages due lack of funds for overhaul, station buildings left to decay and track in need to replacement.

Rail Users Ireland supports the calls made by all sides to the dispute to an immediate increase in financial support to Irish Rail, approximately 100 million per annum is required to recover Irish Rail back to a steady state condition. This 100 million is for capital expenditure in terms of track, trains and stations, it is not for the support of day to day operations which currently deliver a small surplus.

Rail Users Ireland notes that Irish Rail's existing contract expires in 2019 and like bus routes some or all of the rail network may be open to competitive tender. Given Irish Rail's financial position they would not meet the criteria required to even qualify to submit a tender.

Last Updated: November 06 2017 20:47:58
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