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emfizz.com November 23, 2017


Rail chaos: Southern drivers end 18-month strike

09 November 2017, 01:53 | Anna Nguyen

Irish rail strike to hit cross-border services

The dates of the series of 24-hour rolling strikes include the sold-out November 14 showdown between Ireland and Denmark at the Aviva Stadium for the second leg of the football World Cup qualifier

On Wednesday, the Labour Court intervened following two 24-hour strikes in a week by Irish Rail workers.

Rail staff are walking out as part of a long-standing dispute over driver-only trains, affecting Northern services in the borough. The on-board service concept has been welcomed by our passengers across the board.

Drivers working for Southern Railway have voted to accept a deal to end the dispute over driver-only trains.

The biggest disruption is threatened at South Western Railway, which only took over the franchise from South West Trains in August, with more than a third of services set to be hit.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said: "Our members on Southern, after careful consideration, and long and hard negotiations, have voted to accept this resolution to our industrial dispute with the company".

"While at this time Iarnród Éireann has not been advised of a withdrawal by trade unions of the further dates of industrial action (14th and 23rd November, 8th December), the company hopes that the issues can be resolved in a manner that ensures customers suffer no further disruption to services".

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The stoppages by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) over the introduction of driver-only trains will be staggered over the coming days and will severely affect the services of five rail operators. Some workers believe safety procedures would be compromised.

The letter said: "I remain concerned that in the event of a train evacuation, derailment or incapacitated driver, the absence of a guard to assist could leave passengers at risk". Similarly, anti-social behaviour on trains could increase without the presence of a guard.

Iarnrod Eireann, SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have all accepted invites from the Labour Court to attend on Thursday for a hearing on the bitter pay wrangle and associated strike action.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "The RMT is playing a political game, however it has backfired as Southern will be running more than 90 per cent of services for passengers".

"In fact at Southern Rail, where these changes have already been introduced, there are now more staff on trains".

"Driver-only operation has been operating safely for 32 years and now accounts for over a third of the United Kingdom rail network".



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