Wednesday 28 September 2016

Paul Melia: Workers will lose all support with Easter action

Published 25/03/2016 | 02:30

Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Whatever about rejecting the pay deal on offer, the very least Luas workers could have done was defer strike action to next week.

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The decision to pull services over Easter weekend, when hundreds of thousands of people are expected in the capital to commemorate the Easter 1916 Rising, is mean-spirited, unnecessary and does nothing to advance their cause.

It is absolute nonsense to pretend that this is aimed at the Luas operator Transdev. It is clearly aimed at ordinary people, as it will result in more cars in the city, pressure on scarce parking spaces, longer journey times and stress.

Many families will decide not to travel, ruining their plans. It may make workers feel that they're in control, but whatever public sympathy there may have been for their struggle has now evaporated.

The decision by almost 100pc of workers to reject the pay deal is their right. There are legitimate concerns about the creation of a two-tier workforce and they have issues with other aspects of the deal brokered at the WRC.

But who is served by going ahead and pulling all services on the red and green lines this weekend? What leverage does this give workers? Is it fair to the thousands of people who planned an enjoyable Easter?

While the rest of the country is remembering Easter 1916, drivers would rather hold Dublin to ransom. Mounting action on Sunday and Monday does nothing to advance their cause and their union should explain why this draconian action is justified.

Employees have already lost pay and bonuses. Their decision to go on strike means they've also lost what little public support was left.

Irish Independent

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