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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Rail staff could take industrial action over anti-social behaviour on railway network

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) is balloting rail workers to take industrial action over anti-social behaviour that takes place on Ireland’s rail network.

According to the union, rail staff have been facing threats of violence, sexual assault and open drug use on a daily basis and the union is calling for a protest over the “lack of protection” offered to staff against anti-social behaviour which “has now gone well beyond tipping point.”

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The concerns were issued in a letter sent to Irish Rail CEO Jim Meade, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, as well as a number of Government ministers.

While speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, NBRU General Secretary Dermot O’Leary stated that rail staff have “reached the end of their tethers” in relation to anti-social behaviour.

He stated that the anti-social behaviour ranges from low-grade; stone-throwing, graffiti and boisterous behaviour at stations; to more severe incidents such as threats of sexual assault, drunken behaviour, threats and physical violence.

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He added that some people don’t work on trains as a result of the stuff that’s been happening.

For years, the NBRU has been calling for a dedicated Garda Public Transport Division which O’Leary stated has “fallen on deaf ears.”

O’Leary added, “It is horrific out there and one of the main stats that really would surprise people was that in June 2020 to June 2021, there was 2,300 incidences across our railways – that was in the middle of a time when capacity was reduced”.

IMAGE – “File:Train In Connolly Station – Dublin – panoramio.jpg” by William Murphy is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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