Thursday 8 December 2016

Fears Luas dispute could be used as 'trojan horse' for pay demands

Published 27/03/2016 | 02:30

Commuters walk Photo: Steve Humphreys
Commuters walk Photo: Steve Humphreys
Luas: Paschal Donohoe said it is a shame so many families will be affected by strike action

There are growing fears within Government that the bitter Luas pay dispute will be used as a "trojan horse" for a flurry of unaffordable wage claims across the transport network.

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Senior Government figures are deeply concerned that the strike action by Luas workers will be replicated in the coming months by CIE workers with Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann.

But significantly, there is a worry that any resolution that satisfies the workers will be seized by unions seeking to advance further pay claims.

"We would be concerned that the resolution of the Luas issue doesn't end up being a trojan horse for wage claims unaffordable for the CIE group," a senior Government source told the Sunday Independent.

Luas workers were scheduled to go on strike today and tomorrow, one of the busiest weekends for Dublin City.

Thousands of families set to visit the capital for the Easter Rising commemorations face serious delays.

And well-placed sources have confirmed that there is little hope of strike action planned for next weekend being averted.

The decision by Luas workers to almost unanimously vote for strike action came despite their Siptu leaders agreeing to a set of proposals at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) earlier this month.

Luas operator Transdev insists the proposals will result in a pay rise for drivers of 18pc over three years.

Siptu, however, says this figure is inflated and that the increases will only result in pay rises of 10pc.

Last night, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe heaped pressure on Siptu and said it is a "shame" so many families will be affected.

Sunday Independent

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