Friday 24 January 2020

Luas drivers yet to respond on pay offer

Luas. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Luas. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Luas operator Transdev has extended its pay offer to three of the four grades in the pay dispute but has received no contact from Siptu over the position of drivers.

Management will sit down with representatives for control room, ticket inspectors and inspector supervisors staff tomorrow in what they see as "positive talks".

The company's offer to those staff members stands until the end of the week, but it is unclear whether drivers will be afforded the same extension.

The current offer on the table from Transdev is a pay rise of 10pc, which is significantly less than the 18pc deal offered at the Workplace Relations Commission and which was overwhelmingly rejected by Luas staff last month.

Tomorrow's talks look set to put pressure on the drivers, whose jobs could be at risk if strikes continue.

Eight stoppages are scheduled to take place over the next four weeks, including a 48-hour strike which is due to commence this weekend.

Transdev sources have defended the company's warning of lay-offs and wage cuts, insisting it cannot afford to keep "haemorrhaging" money because of the on-going strikes.

A source told the Irish Independent that a letter was sent by Transdev chiefs warning of potential lay-offs because the company has to communicate with staff and has to inform them.

Transdev is being hit with €100,000 fines for each day Dublin's trams are not running.

While the industrial action has already meant staff have lost their bonus of up to €3,000 under a collective agreement, this financial shield is almost exhausted.

"It has been signposted to staff that they can't keep this up," a source said. "You can see the irritation and the ire from the customer, with eight further days of stoppages and the company cannot continue to haemorrhage money," the source added.

The disruptive, long-running row over pay will see strike action this weekend, along with further strikes on Thursday April 28, Wednesday May 4, Friday May 13 and May 20. A four-hour stoppage will take place on Thursday May 26, followed by a full day strike on Friday May 27.

Siptu representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Irish Independent

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