The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is condemning the failure of Irish Rail management and Government to resolve disputes with Irish Rail workers, causing thousands of students to be left without travel to college. As today marks the first of five announced dates of 24-hour all out-strike action, USI President Michael Kerrigan slammed the refusal by management at the State transport company to address a reasonable pay claim by staff.
USI President Michael Kerrigan said,
“This major inconvenience caused by management is forcing 1,900 workers on the picket lines, and is disrupting tens of thousands of students’ travels to get to college and work. The state of the Irish public transport system already sees students struggling to travel to learn, and earn. If the irresponsibility of management allows these strikes to continue right into December, students in rural areas will be denied the chance to sit their exams.”
Mr Kerrigan went on to say,
“Students stand in solidarity with Irish Rail workers. We are urging management and Government to resolve issues around lack of a decent wage in the face of scandalous increases in the cost of living, and to properly fund our national rail services. The message is clear to management: do not leave this dispute be dragged out longer than necessary seeing students without travel, and Irish Rail workers without the pay they deserve.”
The four further 24-hour work stoppages are planned to take place on Tuesday, 7th November, Tuesday, 14th November, Thursday, 23rd November and Friday, 8th December. The union is urging students to seek alternative transport on these dates and to consider car pooling with peers.