Prospect of Luas strike has 'moved ever closer' - Siptu
Almost 200 Luas workers are poised to launch a wave of strike action in the New Year in a move that would cause further disruption to Dublin's transport network.
Tram drivers are widely expected to reject Labour Court proposals aimed at resolving a long-running row with management over pay and conditions.
Central to the Court's proposals are a return to the negotiating table with management in order to allow further talks to take place.
But next week's vote, if rejected, will be followed by an immediate ballot for industrial action.
Workers are now being put on alert for a phase of strike action in the New Year, potentially as early as January.
Siptu last night said the prospect of workers downing tools had "moved ever closer" and that it expected the Labour Court proposals to be "overwhelmingly rejected" next week.
"Make no mistake about it, workers are very frustrated," Siptu organiser Owen Reidy told the Irish Independent.
Transdev, which operates the Luas, declined to comment yesterday. A spokeswoman said it would be inappropriate to do so until the vote on the Labour Court recommendations took place.
However, a source close to the process pointed out that drivers were looking for pay increases of around €20,000. This would bring the salaries of drivers in line with their counterparts in Irish Rail.
The source said that these demands totalled €30m over five years, a figure deemed unrealistic by Transdev, which is a private operator.
Mr Reidy said the company was insisting that any pay increases given to workers were in line with the Consumer Price Index. The trade union official said this would not be acceptable.