Belfast Telegraph

Irish rail workers pondering all-out strike

By Mark O'Regan

Workers at Irish Rail are heaping pressure on union leaders in the Republic to press the 'nuclear button' and announce all-out strike action.

National Bus and Rail Union general secretary Dermot O'Leary says employees see "no future" for the company as things stand. The second day of strike action yesterday forced about 100,000 commuters to take to buses and cars – crippling transport networks at rush hour. Further stoppages are planned for September, but Mr O'Leary warned the possibility of an all-out stoppage cannot be ruled out, given that the union has a mandate of more than 80% in favour of this action.

"As long as the company maintains the pay cuts, our members feel they have no alternative but to advance the dispute along the lines already decided," he said.

He stressed that the situation would be reviewed on September 23. "That mandate is there – and of course there is pressure. There is a certain element among our members that are saying to me: 'Don't forget we have that mandate'."

He described public support for the workers' action as "mixed", but said the company was to blame, not workers.

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