Irish Rail unions are planning to bring rail services to halt again on November the 7th, 14th, and 23rd as well as Friday December 8th.
The stoppage on November 14th will coincide with the Republic of Ireland v Denmark World Cup qualifying play-off in Dublin.
Irish Rail workers want a 3.75% a year pay rise over three years to match recent wage increases secured by Luas and Dublin Bus workers.
However, the company’s group of unions, including Siptu, the NBRU, TSSA, and Unite, voted overwhelmingly for strike action earlier this month after talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) between company bosses and unions broke down.
Waterford SIPTU Spokesperson David Keating says this breakdown in talks left workers with no other choice but to take action.
He says “the WRC felt there was a compromise agreement that could be reached, at the last minute the CEO pulled the deal off the table.”
“People continue to say that members of staff are earning €55,000 a year, which is at the higher operative grade, but they don’t say the conditions that are attached to that.”
He says that these include a 48 hour working week, working weekends, a composite rate of pay which doesn’t account for out-of-hours rates.
“We’d like to this opportunity to apologise to the travelling public. It’s never our intention to discommode them.”
Irish Rail said it had offered a 1.75% increase for one year, linked to performance, absenteeism management and revisions to redeployment policy.
The company has outlined a refunds policy for the estimated 155,000 rail passengers — almost half of them Dart passengers — who will be affected on each of the five strike days.
Management has also warned that the proposed and prolonged industrial action will cost the company which is already “dangerously close to insolvency”, with accumulated losses of €160m.