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Unread 18-08-2014, 11:48   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default Strike - Refunds

So as we all now know the unions have decided to through with some pointless strike action

If you bought a ticket online for the dates in question - full refund to the card used
You currently cannot book online for the strike dates

For single/return tickets bought at the station in advance? unknown but likely

For weekly/monthly/annual, paid cash? unknown but likely

Taxsaver tickets? Unlikely due tax issues (Irish Rail indicate yes but we know the revenue won't like it) Bear in mind you don't own the ticket, your employer does
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Unread 18-08-2014, 12:08   #2
grainne whale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
So as we all now know the unions have decided to through with some pointless strike action

If you bought a ticket online for the dates in question - full refund to the card used
You currently cannot book online for the strike dates

For single/return tickets bought at the station in advance? unknown but likely

For weekly/monthly/annual, paid cash? unknown but likely

Taxsaver tickets? Unlikely due tax issues (Irish Rail indicate yes but we know the revenue won't like it) Bear in mind you don't own the ticket, your employer does
If you buy a bus ticket you should be entitled to you money back as you are effectively paying on the double for your journey.
Infact this whole episode will make up my mind as to whether I renew my Taxsaver Rail Only Ticket or not, as I find I can get to work quicker by getting the 67X instead of the train and the Dublin Bus Taxsaver Ticket is cheaper.

Last edited by grainne whale : 18-08-2014 at 14:46.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 14:03   #3
James Howard
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I would suggest that you should be entitled to a refund for whatever costs you incurred getting to work on that day. I can imagine that the only option for those of us in Longford will be to drive as Bus Éireann will see adding capacity as scabbing.

However, for me it is relatively minor inconvenience as I can work from home on the affected days. For somebody having to attend a medical appointment for which they've been waiting six months, it is a different matter entirely.

Bear in mind that the bus journey is going to be a lot worse than normal on a strike day so it would be a good idea to compare on a normal day.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 14:27   #4
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While I understand the tax issues make a refund next to impossible, there should be no issue with extending the validity of the ticket for the day.

Presumably we'll get an announcement that tickets will be accepted on Bus Eireann/Dublin Bus (or will the unions refuse that?). If that were to happen, how would it work for Leap-based tickets that won't be recognized by the vus's validator.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 14:45   #5
grainne whale
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Originally Posted by comcor View Post
While I understand the tax issues make a refund next to impossible, there should be no issue with extending the validity of the ticket for the day.

Presumably we'll get an announcement that tickets will be accepted on Bus Eireann/Dublin Bus (or will the unions refuse that?). If that were to happen, how would it work for Leap-based tickets that won't be recognized by the vus's validator.
I really can't see Bus Eireann/ Dublin Bus accepting rail tickets are I'm sure pickets would be out immediately and the strike would escalate.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 15:00   #6
Mark Gleeson
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Validity extension is another problem

We have had long conversations about this with Irish Rail as EU law from December makes things much more passenger focused
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Unread 18-08-2014, 16:21   #7
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This strike has been brewing for months if not years at this stage. It is beyond comprehension why Irish Rail haven't figured out the contingencies for various categories of customers at this stage. Their twitter widget on this page (http://www.irishrail.ie/industrialaction) indicates that they are replying to queries on twitter saying that an announcement re annual passes will be made early in the week. Again, why can't they say this as a matter of general publication.

The normal mechanism in the event of a 2 hour delay is to issue vouchers to the value of 1/480th of a pass, so I would guess we'll get vouchers to the value of 1/240th for each missed weekday if we ask. In theory you should also be able to ask for the Sundays as well, but they might be a bit stickier about that. While the tax people might have a problem with it, I would think it would be a waste of effort to put in a mechanism for collecting the resulting revenue.

What is of concern is that it all appears to have gone very quiet in the media. So either there are proper talks going on and nobody wants to bugger them up by making statements, or the unions just want to haul everyone out to make a point. My money is on the latter.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 16:42   #8
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There is no contingency for 125,000 passenger journeys.

The unions are very much dug in.

There is a battle ongoing between NBRU and SIPTU, NBRU is trying to bolster its ranks currently. NBRU has been the more troublesome union for years but has been the smaller of the two

Bear in mind other than SIPTU and NBRU the other unions have signed off on the deal. Management have already taken the pay cut at the higher 6%. The reality is the unions members will be down a lot more than 1.7% if they drag this out.

While unquestionably Irish Rail is underfunded the reality of any business is you stay afloat with what you have or you call in the receivers. The unions don't seem to understand the gravity of the situation.

Incidentally yet another delegation of managers from another very large railway undertaking are enroute to Dublin shortly. We have seen a significant number of visits recently. The vultures are circling.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 17:19   #9
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Losing 5 days' pay is already more than a 1% cut over the duration of the agreement. This whole dispute seems to have descended into an episode of willy-waving stupidity and everyone is a loser.

Given how precarious Irish Rail's finances are, there is a real possibility of examinership or worse. Given that it would appear that the legal work was already done on this for the Dublin Bus dispute last year, I would think that the Department of Transport would have this worked out already. I am wondering if it could be unwise to renew an annual pass at this stage and mine is actually up at the end of this month.

It will be interesting to see how much sympathy there will be in the other CIE companies seeing as how they have already taken cuts on considerably lower salaries.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 19:54   #10
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The NBRU are locked in a childish game with SIPTU right now and its funny to watch how pathetic the comments being made are.

There certain has been work done as to how to handle a examinership of Irish Rail.

One of the reasons Irish Rail is in such as mess is the fact there is no such thing as redundancy in Irish Rail, its a nice big cheque, where anywhere else for a company which is basically a matter of days from insolvency statutory would be generous... Basically it costs too much to get rid of people.
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Unread 18-08-2014, 21:14   #11
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Thurles and Templemore will be the worst hit by these strikes. In both towns Iarnród Éireann has a monopoly there are no alternatives/competition. NTA have done nothing about this and actually the cause of this.

When all the competition stopped serving the town the day saver fares were quietly phased out. When route 71 was withdrawn back in 2010 IÉ very quickly increased the price Thurles-Cork by 30% in 2011.
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Unread 19-08-2014, 13:43   #12
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Hopefully some form of resolution will be reached though that looks highly unlikely at present.

History has a habit of repeating itself; this dispute should not be a key contributor to ultimate end products of another Kingscourt or three.
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Unread 19-08-2014, 16:04   #13
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They have set up a surveymonkey form for Taxsaver refunds but will only accept applications after the 26th. Info is available here.

Personally, I will cancel travel plans on the Monday so will apply for a refund for that day. I was also planning on taking the train on Sunday as I am hiking the Royal Canal in sections but it might be taking the Mickey a bit to apply for a refund that day.
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Unread 19-08-2014, 16:17   #14
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Quote:
One of the reasons Irish Rail is in such as mess is the fact there is no such thing as redundancy in Irish Rail, its a nice big cheque, where anywhere else for a company which is basically a matter of days from insolvency statutory would be generous... Basically it costs too much to get rid of people.
Don't want to post to much detail but literally a 2 minute job if not less cost the company thousands in staffing costs for over a year very recently.
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Unread 19-08-2014, 17:49   #15
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Email went out to all taxsaver administrators this evening re refunds

It looks like they are going ahead with it, interesting to see how the revenue view this
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Unread 19-08-2014, 19:09   #16
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I don't understand how, aside from the scale, this is any different from the way in which Irish Rail have been refunding TaxSaver ticket holders in vouchers for delays.

Or will the strike refunds come as cash? That would be a departure from the norm.
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Unread 19-08-2014, 22:51   #17
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Sadly no cash, but a voucher which the booking office will pay cash for, so cash if you are willing to wait for a human to pay up

Revenue wise, if you are delayed then you get compensation which is different from a refund, unless this drags on the amounts involved as tiny so not worth chasing we hope
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Unread 20-08-2014, 06:43   #18
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I'm so glad I never decided to become a lawyer - refund / compensation. Isn't it all money back because the service paid for wasn't provided?

Anyway, another option that would simplify matters would be to have an arrangement to donate the refund to charity. I do believe in extracting the money from Irish Rail as they aren't providing the service I paid for but at the same time I won't end being out of pocket as I can work from home once or twice a week and my employer understands that there is little point in having me turn up at the office after having spent three hours battling traffic to get into work.
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Unread 20-08-2014, 06:54   #19
Mark Gleeson
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For this case

Refund - no service provided
Compensation - you got something, just not exactly what you wanted but still got home...

I'm very much in the boat of screw Irish Rail for very last cent if only for both unions and management to realise they are there to provide a service.

No doubt you will need your ticket and voucher to get the refund which makes alternative uses a bit tricky to implement
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Unread 20-08-2014, 09:50   #20
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Default Fiddling while Rome burns

I had read rumours on boards that this was the case, but Barry Kenny has confirmed that David Franks is currently on holiday. This beggars belief given that these days were set several weeks ago and would indicate that there is no serious attempt being made by Irish Rail to agree this.

http://breakingnews.ie/ireland/irish...ms-639664.html
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