Friday 20 October 2017

Tuesday's Luas strike off to allow fresh talks

Outgoing Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Photocall Ireland
Outgoing Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Photocall Ireland

Ciara Tracy

Strike action by Luas drivers planned for Tuesday has been called off to facilitate talks in an attempt to end the ongoing dispute over pay.

Luas operator Transdev and the union Siptu, which represents the light rail drivers, accepted an invitation from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to attend talks on Monday.

Siptu had previously said its members were prepared to suspend next week's strike action to enable talks to take place at the WRC.

Luas drivers carried out strike action for four days last month, and there is further strike action planned for St Patrick's Day and for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

Workers' representatives are looking for salary increases of 8pc-53pc, depending on their roles and years of service.

Transdev has welcomed the talks, which it expects to be a long process but hopes will bring a resolution in coming weeks.

Expectations

In a statement, it said: "Transdev anticipate these talks will be difficult and long, given the scale of the pay claim before the company and the expectations that have been created.

"Transdev however believe the WRC will create the framework for positive discussions and look forward to a resolution in the weeks to come."

The talks have also been welcomed by Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, who said it is "a step in the right direction" for the service "upon which tens of thousands of people rely".

"Strike action in recent weeks seriously inconvenienced commuters and cost local businesses and the company dearly," he said.

"The recent escalation of the dispute, which would see the service out of operation on important public holidays, will have a significant negative impact on our tourist industry and on the Dublin economy at what is a crucial time for our city.

"I sincerely hope that this signals an intention to resolve the matter so that regular services, without interruption, can be resumed," he added.

Irish Independent

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