The Summer of 2000 was dominated by a three-month lock our by Iarnród Éireann, the national train service, of 118 of its divers, over 40% of the driving grade. The employees involved were all members of the Irish Locomotive Drivers’ Association (ILDA), with whom the company was refusing to deal in its implementation of new work practices.
Off the Rails outlines the reasons for ILDA forming and all aspects of the difficulties that followed. This includes their difficulties while still members of SIPTU, NBRU and ICTU; Iarnród Éireann’s High Court law suit against them and their Supreme Court Appeal.
Politics and industrial relations are combined in this story, which is also a personal one, when Brendan Ogle went from being an anonymous train driver to being front page news. For many he was a figure responsible for creating chaos, while for others, his was simply an honest voice in a changing industrial relations world.
‘For anyone who wants to know how modern Ireland works, this book is absolutely essential’
John Drennan, journalist,
‘You don’t have to agree with everything Brendan Ogle says to admire his integrity and guts. This is a powerful, well-written, dramatic story, about honourable men in an honourable profession and the way they stood up to intolerable pressures. Everyone who has the interests of working people at heart will not only enjoy the book, they’ll find lots to think about.’
Chef de Cabinet, Labour Party
‘The book is written with honesty and passion… It will provide valuable raw material for those who study and research in industrial relations and is in itself an important contribution to the history of railways, industrial relations and trade unionism… There are important lessons here both for the crasser exponents of unbridled competition and trade union leaders who may have strayed far from the common decencies of working people. Both sides of the industrial divide and scholars and students in the field will benefit from reading this book.’
Michael Barry, Dean & Senior Lecturer,
Industrial Relations/Sociology, National College of Ireland