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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Siptu says members don't take notice of O'Leary 'rants'

Michael O'Leary Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
Michael O'Leary Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Anne-Marie Walsh

The chief Siptu negotiator in the Luas dispute has said its workers won't take any notice of Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary's "rantings" after he called them "headbangers".

Mr O'Leary claimed students on holiday could learn to drive a tram in nanoseconds and he would have "sacked them all" if he was in charge.

But union official Owen Reidy hit back at the airline boss's remarks. "I don't think any of the Luas workers care one bit what Michael O'Leary has to say," he said.

"They don't take any notice of the rantings of Michael O'Leary and trade unionists gave up listening to him years ago.

"I'm sure many workers would love to have collective bargaining that led to pay increases up to 18pc over the next four years, including Michael O'Leary's staff at Ryanair."

He said the "vitriol" that existed in many quarters in relation to Luas staff had been "very interesting".

"Some are earning below the average industrial wage and some are marginally ahead of the average industrial wage, trying to improve their conditions, in comparison with CEOs and executives achieving significant bonuses and large six-figure annual salaries," he said.

Mr O'Leary, who heads the non-unionised airline, said the Luas strike had been "mishandled".

"It's more public sector muddling through," he added.

Irish Independent

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