Minister Ross evading responsibility ahead of Irish Rail strikes - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Imelda Munster TD has today called on Unions and Iarnród Éireann management to re-enter talks in order to find a solution to the current stand-off at the semi-state body. Rail workers are due to begin strike action at midnight tonight, in the first of five scheduled day-long strikes over pay.
Deputy Munster noted that staff at Iarnród Éireann have not had a pay increase in the past ten years, despite passenger numbers and revenue expected to hit record highs in 2017.
Teachta Munster said;
“Rail workers have not had a pay rise in the past decade, and it’s understandable that they are seeking an increase in pay in line with those received by other transport workers in the past couple of years.
“Iarnród Éireann’s revenues for 2016 reached a record high of €245million and passengers numbers have increased hugely in recent years. The financial problems experienced at Iarnród Éireann relate to capital investment, and successive decades of underinvestment in rail infrastructure by government.
“The NTA’s 2016 rail review document laid out in black and white how much investment is needed by the company going forward. To date, Minister Ross has shown little or no interest in addressing the issues raised in that report. The Minister has the latest incarnation of that report on his desk, and has yet to address the issues raised in it.
“The disruption to passengers is going to be huge tomorrow, and it is unfair that passengers and rail workers are put out in this way because Minister Shane Ross is evading his responsibility as Transport Minister.
“I hope that the matter can be resolved in the very near future, and I urge Minister Ross to take action to address the funding issues that appear to be affecting the pay talks.”