Northern Ireland readies for rail strike

June 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, June 21 (UPI) -- Northern Ireland's railroad employees will participate in a 24-hour strike, their trade union announced Friday after it refused a contract offer.

The action, involving 150 members of the GMB municipal workers' union -- and related to an ongoing dispute over pay and work conditions -- was scheduled to begin Sunday at midnight.

It will likely throw travel plans of commuters into chaos, the Belfast, Northern Ireland, Telegraph reported.

"Rail service will be affected by this strike action and we will keep our passengers informed," a spokeswoman for Translink, the country's national transportation system of trains and buses, said in a statement.

GMB regional organizer Michael Mulholland said its members are not striking to obtain a pay raise similar to the 18 percent raise drivers received three years ago.

"GMB members, who are mainly from the conductors and station staff grades, believe they are being asked to give away too much to fund increases for other groups," Mulholland said.

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