Luas drivers want wages €9k higher than Irish Rail
Luas drivers who plan to bring the tram service to a halt for the first time are seeking a pay rise that would push their wages over €9,000 higher than a train driver's.
Figures revealed that their demands go far beyond seeking equal pay with their colleagues in Irish Rail.
Staff, who have already begun a work-to-rule, are set to cause travel chaos during a 48-hour strike from 4am tomorrow.
This will be followed by a 48-hour strike on Thursday week.
Sources in other unions have privately described the claim - which ranges from 8pc to 54pc - as "lunacy".
One union said drivers' wages are not far off Irish Rail drivers' pay already, while wage claims in other sectors range from 3pc to 5pc.
Over 240 workers at the light rail network, including drivers, ticket inspectors and control office staff, want better pay and conditions. Their demands include free GP care, and increases in bonus and overtime rates.
Currently, the Luas drivers' pay ranges from €35,901 for a 39-hour week in year one to €42,247, when they are there for nine years.
Irish Rail drivers' 10-year pay scale ranges from €43,717 to €55,239 for a 43-hour week.
But the SIPTU document revealed the drivers want to earn from €41,895 to €64,993 by January next year.
The desired €64,993 wage is €9,754 higher than the top end of the Irish Rail pay scale.
The National Bus and Rail Workers Union claimed that Luas drivers' existing wages are not far behind Irish Rail's.
It calculated that Luas drivers' hourly pay is €20.83, with a bonus, compared with €22.04 at Irish Rail, with no bonus.
But SIPTU has said its members believe they are underpaid, particularly when compared with workers in Irish Rail.
Union official Willie Noone said their claim is a "maximum stall" and the drivers do not expect to achieve it.
"Nobody knows what those train drivers will be on in five years," he said.