Friday 24 November 2017

Luas drivers threatening strikes next month 'seeking massive pay increase of almost 54pc' - employer

A Luas travels across O’Connell Street
A Luas travels across O’Connell Street

Anne-Marie Walsh, Industry Correspondent

LUAS drivers, who are threatening strikes next month, are seeking a massive pay increase of almost 54pc, their employer has claimed.

Figures supplied by Transdev reveal that tram drivers on €42,247 a year are seeking a 53.8pc increase to €64,993 – substantially more than an Irish Rail driver.

This is far above the average pay claims of between two and three percent on average, which were lodged by unions with employers last year.

However, SIPTU says the amounts being sought would be spread over five years, although a 54pc increase would still represent an annual rise of over 10pc.

The figures were released as sources revealed that most Luas staff want a two day work stoppage as the first strike at the Dublin tram operator looks set for next month.

Industrial action is being planned in pursuit of pay rises for over 200 staff, including drivers.

SIPTU is likely to give three weeks notice of industrial action later this week, which could cause major chaos for the travelling public and government just ahead of the general election.

Transdev said:

* Revenue Protection officer (ticket inspector) on a current salary of €36,434 is seeking an increase to €43,720, or 20pc, by 2017.

* A revenue protection supervisor (ticket inspector supervisor) on a current salary of €39,541 is seeking an increase to €50,771.33 (28pc) by 2017.

*Traffic supervisors on a current salary of €47,941 are seeking an increase to €57,941 by 2017.

Transdev said the pay claims being pursued by SIPTU are between 8.5pc and 53.8pc and would cost it €30m over its five year contract, or €6m a year.

It said it lost €700,000 last year and is predicting further losses this year.

“It is disappointing for us to learn that union employees plan on stopping the Luas service in pursuance of their pay claims,” said Transdev Managing Director, Gerry Madden.

“We believe the pay and terms and conditions of Luas employees are, and always have been, very favourable.”

It said the Labour Court recommended that they hold “meaningful” talks at the Workplace Relations Commission, and this was the only way the row could be resolved.

It said Luas staff get bonuses on top of salary of up to 6.5pc per employee, or €2,200 to €3,000 a year.

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