Minister welcomes resumption of talks to resolve Luas dispute

Drivers have already carried out two 48-hour stoppages

Newstalk, Luas, Transdev, SIPTU, Management, union, strike

Pictured Luas trams lined up at the Sandyford Line depot on the third day of the strike. Photo: /

The Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has welcomed plans to resume Luas talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Both parties are to return to talks next Monday, in a bid to averting further industrial action by Luas workers.

More strikes by tram drivers are planned for March 8th and St Patrick's Day - March 17th.

They have already carried out two 48-hour work stoppages. They are seeking pay rises of up to 53% over five years.

Bosses at operating company Transdev yesterday accused drivers of taking too many toilet breaks.

They are angry about the decision by SIPTU to strike.

Yesterday, SIPTU and Transdev engaged in separate discussions at the WRC to see if full talks can begin.

"I am encouraged by news this morning that intensive negotiations are due to take place next week between Luas workers and management", Minister Donohoe said.

"It is vital that both sides re-engage fully and that negotiations are conducted in a reasonable manner so that normal Luas services can resume and this dispute brought to an end".

"It is imperative that every effort is made to ensure a successful outcome to next week's talks as the Luas is an essential part of Dublin's transport infrastructure", he added.

Today, authorities at the WRC say they believe there are grounds on which to move forward together.

The director-general of the WRC, Kieran Mulvey, told Newstalk Lunchtime he hopes both sides can reach an agreement which will prevent further disruption to commuters.