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Saturday 21 April 2018

Tesco and Luas staff both call off strikes

Bruce Springsteen. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Bruce Springsteen. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Anne-Marie Walsh

Bruce Springsteen fans and football supporters are relieved after disruptive Luas strikes scheduled for today and tomorrow were called off.

A four-hour stoppage was due to take place from 3pm to 7pm today, followed by a 24-hour stoppage tomorrow.

But they were cancelled after the Labour Court invited Siptu and Luas operator Transdev to exploratory talks in a bid to end the long-running dispute that has led to 12 days of strikes.

The move will bring huge relief to Dublin commuters, Bruce Springsteen fans who will be making their way to Croke Park tomorrow evening, and Irish soccer fans heading to the Aviva Stadium for the clash with the Netherlands.

But more strikes are still looming next month during State exams, with four-hour stoppages planned on June 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10, while the threat of an all-out strike still exists.

Siptu will attend a meeting with Transdev at the Labour Court today. Drivers are seeking a 23pc pay rise by 2019 but Transdev insists it will not offer more than 13pc. Control room staff, ticket inspectors, and their supervisors have already accepted a 13pc wage increase.

The court is likely to issue a recommendation that will be put to staff in a ballot.

Meanwhile, an all-out strike at 70 Tesco stores due to take place today has been called off after the Workplace Relations Commission invited the two sides to talks.

Mandate has cancelled the indefinite work stoppage, which was due to begin at 7am, to attend talks tomorrow. Tesco also said it has accepted the invitation to talks.

An indefinite strike was due to take place in a row over a company plan to move long-serving staff onto a lower-paid contract.

Mandate General Secretary John Douglas said the WRC had requested both parties to stand down their threats.

"There are still very difficult issues between the parties, but if we attend talks in good faith, we should be able to resolve them," he said.

Irish Independent

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