Monday 26 September 2016

SIPTU's Owen Reidy accuses Luas bosses of trying to 'humiliate' drivers into accepting reduced pay deal

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 13/05/2016 | 10:47

Siptu has announced further strikes to take place in June which will affect the start of the Leaving Cert exams, as well as a Bruce Springsteen concert (Stock picture)
Siptu has announced further strikes to take place in June which will affect the start of the Leaving Cert exams, as well as a Bruce Springsteen concert (Stock picture)
Transdev managing director Gerry Madden. Photo:Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Siptu official Owen Reidy

Luas drivers are holding their 11th day of strike action in the ongoing campaign for improved pay and working conditions.

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Drivers have announced a further two full-day stoppages this month, to take place on May 20 and 27.

Additional four-hour strikes are planned for May 26, June 2, June 3, June 7, June 8, June 9 and June 10.

Luas operator Transdev is understood to be open to further talks with SIPTU if “they believe there is a solid basis for doing so”.

Transdev managing director Gerry Madden. Photo:Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Transdev managing director Gerry Madden. Photo:Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

In a letter issued by Transdev to drivers, managing director Gerry Madden wrote that he believes it is the “one final opportunity” to resolve the row before “very serious”, unspecified consequences arise for both sides.

However, SIPTU has accused Transdev of “effectively locking (its members) out of talks” in the ongoing dispute.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland, SIPTU organiser Owen Reidy suggested that Transdev intended to “humiliate” drivers into reducing the scale of their pay claim after they rejected the deal offered at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Mr Reidy said drivers were eager to resolve the dispute but that there must be a “fair and sustainable” offer that is not lower than the WRC deal.

Siptu official Owen Reidy
Siptu official Owen Reidy

He said that the company would not engage in talks for the last 19 days and had also refused to enlist a third party negotiator.

Mr Reidy claimed that Mr Madden’s letter was not an invitation to talks, and said that what Transdev understood to be a “solid basis” meant “if the drivers come onto their pitch”.

However, he agreed that the current industrial action is “completely regrettable”.

“We don’t want any more strikes,” he told the programme.

“The longer this goes on, the more serious it gets and the more problematic it is to resolve.”

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