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Picketing officially began this morning for the nurses' strike, which is only the second time in 100 years that the group have carried out work stoppages.

According to The Journal, three-quarters of Irish people support the nurse's 24-hour strike, which is being carried out over an apparent recruitment and retention issue.

Nurses and midwives across the county will be out on the picket line today, fighting for pay and better working conditions at hospitals and private clinics nationwide.

Nursing unions are seeking pay parity with other health service grades, such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has announced that talks which were held at the Labour Court on Monday night did not lead to any breakthroughs.

The INMO has over 40,000 members, and announced the strikes earlier in January. Over 90 percent of members which were polled voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot held in November.

According to nurses, increasing their pay is the only way to retain nurses, and this would improve working conditions, as well as the recruitment and retention crisis among members.

The government has expressed it's concern over pay rises for nurses outside of the broader public sector pay agreement reached last year, and has refused to give in to the nurses' demands.

The strikes have gone ahead after the Labour Court claimed it would not intervene in the dispute in a formal way, as the government are anxious that other industries will also request pay rises if the nurses obtain their requested 12 percent rise.

A Claire Byrne LiveTheJournal.ie poll of 1,000 adults by Amárach Research found huge support for the nurses' action, with 74 percent of participants expressing agreement with the 24-hour strike. 

Only 17 percent said no, while 9 percent were unsure.

Members of the public have been requested by the HSE only to attend emergency services in hospitals if it is totally necessary.

Liam Woods, HSE national director of acute operations, commented; “We would appeal that patients would only attend the emergency services if absolutely essential."

In emergencies, there will be an emergency response, and any patients whose appointments or surgeries have been cancelled will achieve priority in the weeks following the strike.

The INMO has also said that further strikes will take place on the February 5 and 7, and then February 12, 13 and 14 if an agreement cannot be reached. 

Feature image: Limerick Leader

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Update – Latest statement from Ryanair:

“Less than 28% of Ryanair’s Dublin (over 300) pilots have voted in favour of unspecified industrial action.

“Ryanair has received no notification of any industrial action by its Dublin pilots so we suspect this is more PR activity by Aer Lingus pilots group IALPA, to distract from their failure in negotiating a paltry 3% pay increase for Aer Lingus pilots.

Now that Ryanair’s Cork, Shannon and Belfast bases have agreed 20% pay increases we expect the Dublin pilots to follow this trend. However, if Ryanair’s Dublin pilots are misled by some Aer Lingus pilots into industrial action then they will lose their favourable rosters (5on/4off, a double bank holiday every week) and remuneration benefits that are specifically linked by agreement to dealing directly with Ryanair. 

This might be the first time in Irish history that a few Aer Lingus pilots persuade Ryanair pilots earning between €150,000 to €180,000 p.a. to take up industrial action instead of a 20% pay increase when Aer Lingus pilots are only getting 3%.

If any such industrial action occurs Ryanair will still not engage with, or recognise, Aer Lingus pilots or their IALPA union”.

Earlier: 

Ryanair's Dublin-based pilots have voted  to back industrial action in a ballot carried out this afternoon.

The move comes amid a dispute over pay and conditions as well as collective bargaining and negotiating rights.

According to RTÉ, pilots believe that the company's collective bargaining structures weaken the negotiating powers of employees.

It was also reported that pilots at bases in Dublin, London Stansted and Madrid have rejected proposals from management around pay and conditions.

It's understood that Ryanair has ordered an emergency meeting for its Dublin staff at the Swords headquarters.

However, in a statement this evening, the airline said it had not received any notification of industrial action.

It read: “Ryanair has received no notification of any industrial action by its Dublin pilots so we suspect this is more PR activity by Aer Lingus pilots group IALPA, to distract from their failure in negotiating a paltry 3% pay increase for Aer Lingus pilots.”

"Now that Ryanair’s Cork, Shannon and Belfast bases have agreed 20% pay increases we expect the Dublin pilots to follow this trend. However, if Ryanair’s Dublin pilots are misled by some Aer Lingus pilots into industrial action then they will lose their favourable rosters (5on/4off, a double bank holiday every week) and remuneration benefits that are specifically linked by agreement to dealing directly with Ryanair."

"This might be the first time in Irish history that a few Aer Lingus pilots persuade Ryanair pilots earning between €150,000 to €180,000 p.a. to take up industrial action instead of a 20% pay increase when Aer Lingus pilots are only getting 3%."

“If any such industrial action occurs Ryanair will still not engage with, or recognise, Aer Lingus pilots or their IALPA union.”

It is not yet know whether or not upcoming flight schedules will be affected.

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Today marked the first of five bouts of industrial action by Irish Rail employees. 

Employees went on strike today, leaving up to 150,000 commuters to find alternative means of transport and completely halting the country's rail travel system. 

According to a statement released by Irish Rail, there are a number of other days on which strike action is planned, so mark those diaries. 

Trains will not operate across Intercity, DART and Commuter routes next Tuesday, November 7. 

The following week, strike action will also occur on a Tuesday, the 14th. 

This date will hit those outside of Dublin who plan to travel up for the Ireland v Denmark World Cup Play-off at Lansdowne Road.

There will be strike action on Thursday November 23, and again on December 8. 

Refunds are available for those who have planned to travel on those days. 

Strikers hope to secure a pay rise with the latest bout of industrial action bringing Ireland's transport services to a standstill. 

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Irish Rail customers will need to make alternative travel arrangements tomorrow morning as staff at Iarnród Éireann prepare for the first of five one-day strikes over pay tomorrow.

Some 155,000 people are expected to be affected by the stoppages which include all Dart, Intercity and commuter rail services.

Both management and unions believe industrial action is inevitable, with Dermot O’Leary, General Secretary for the National Bus and Rail Union saying he did not see “any viable alternative.”

The strike is expected to cost the transport company €600,000 in fare revenue and €300,000 in National Transport Authorities penalties.

Staff at Iarnród Éireann have not had a pay rise in almost 10 years and are looking for a “no strings attached” increase of 3.75 per cent per year.

Further strikes are scheduled for November 7, November 14, November 23, and December 8.

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann will not be accepting Iarnród Éireann tickets during the strike action, though passengers who have pre-booked tickets for today will have the fare automatically refunded to their accounts. 

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If you rely on the LUAS to get to and from work everyday, it seems you may find yourself in a spot of bother in the upcoming weeks.

A representative of LUAS said that the drivers have voted in favour of strike action and 24 to 48-hour stoppages are "quite likely."

221 out of 223 LUAS employees who took part in a Siptu ballot following a pay dispute with Transdev, and they have voted for industrial action, but the union will need 21 days notice if they choose to do so.

Drivers are seeking a 40 percent increase to their wages, like heavy rail drivers for Irish Rail.

Speaking to RTÉ's DriveTime, Siptu organiser Owen Reidy said discussions on the matter will begin next week.

“I anticipate that given the result and the fact that it is emphatic that there will be a lot of frustration, and the ballot can allow us to do 24 and 48 hour stoppages,” Owen said.

He also mentioned that the union had been talking to management for over 18 months but they had been “getting nowhere”.

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Commuters can expect a smooth journey to work this morning as it's been confirmed that Irish Rail's strike plans have been called off.

After over 17 hours of discussion between Irish Rail and the workers unions Siptu and NBRU, the strike's cancellation was confirmed just after 4am.

If the industrial action had gone ahead, a total of 41 Dart services, 45 Dublin Commuter services, 30 Cork Commuter services, and 42 Intercity/regional services would have been stalled between the hours of 6am and 9am today.

The cancellation of the strike came as a something of a surprise, as the unions had warned last night that it was highly likely to go ahead.

A similar stoppage went ahead as planned two weeks ago, in relation to the same dispute over working hours and productivity.

Irish Rail have now confirmed that there will be full rail service around the country with "minimal disruption," although there may be slight delays as rail drivers arrive to work.

However customers should be aware that Irish Rail's journey planner and realtime website/app info may not work as normal.

Of course, even with the good news, not everyone is happy, as some commuters had arranged days off and alternative travel plans:

Hopefully this will be the last threat of strike action we have for a while.

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