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Sunday 26 February 2017

Luas strike set to go ahead on Easter Sunday and Monday

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Luas drivers are set to strike
Luas drivers are set to strike

Travel plans for tens of thousands of people attending the Easter Rising events this weekend have been thrown into disarray after Luas workers voted to strike on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Members of the Siptu trade union overwhelmingly rejected proposals ironed out following a 28-hour bargaining session at the Workplace Relations Commission on the eve of St Patrick’s Day to avert a strike planned for the national holiday as well as the Easter weekend.

But after Luas drivers and revenue protection grades voted overwhelmingly to reject the proposals, the strike will go ahead, SIPTU organiser Owen Reidy said this afternoon.

“We accept the democratic decision of our members. We have always stated that notified industrial action will proceed unless an agreement is reached and that remains the case. We do remain available for discussions with the employer.”

The proposals included an 18pc pay rise over three years.

However after balloting this week, drivers rejected the proposals by almost 100pc while other grades voted unanimously against the proposals.

Officials from Transdev, which operates the light rail service,  have yet to issue a statement on the strike.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe said:

“The terms of the WRC proposal involved a generous package of pay increases for the workers from their employer – far in excess of what many other private or public sector employers could possibly afford for their staff at this time.  So it is difficult to understand the Luas workers’ rejection.”

The Minister called on SIPTU to withdraw its strike notice for Easter Sunday and Monday, notwithstanding the unresolved position between the workers and their employer.

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