Friday 21 September 2018

Luas drivers call off 48-hour strike but still won't talk

Luas drivers have postponed a planned 48-hour strike
Luas drivers have postponed a planned 48-hour strike

Passengers will be able to use the Luas this weekend after drivers cancelled a 48-hour strike as a gesture of "goodwill".

Siptu said the tram company's 172 drivers have called off work stoppages on Saturday and Sunday "to try and create space for talks".

Their colleagues, ticket inspectors, their supervisors and control-room staff will meet with Luas operator Transdev for talks today to discuss a new pay proposal.

However, the drivers have still not agreed to enter talks on the pay package, which would mean a wage hike of 10pc over 33 months. They have sought a meeting with acting Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe.


Their colleagues in the three other grades asked Transdev for a meeting to seek clarification on its pay proposal after it put them on protective notice.

In a confidential letter the company threatened to start taking them off the payroll from next Monday it they refused to carry out their full duties.

Transdev also warned that it could begin to recoup its losses due to industrial action by cutting wages.

The threats came after the company received notice of further strikes and the drivers' intention to restart a work-to-rule.

Drivers began a work-to-rule last weekend. It involves non-cooperation, a ban on overtime, refusal to swap shifts, no inter-depot transfers, and strict adherence to rosters, finish and break times.

In addition, drivers will not answer their employer's phone calls and texts outside of rostered working hours.

"Drivers have unconditionally agreed to cancel this weekend's strikes to demonstrate their goodwill and bona fides in trying to resolve the dispute," Siptu official Owen Reidy said.

The company extended its pay offer, which was due to be taken off the table on Sunday, to enable discussions to take place.

The proposal for a 10pc pay rise is lower than a Workplace Relations Commission package for pay rises up to 18pc, which staff rejected by almost 100pc.

It is the same as the Workplace Relations Commission proposal without a long service increment worth over 7pc and arbitration on a bonus that was due this year.

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