Luas services will run on St Patrick's Day after strike called off

Workers being balloted for acceptance on pay deal

Newstalk, Luas, strike, transdev, tram, industrial action, pay, salary, increase, WRC, Workplace Relations Commission, St Patricks Day, Easter, Bank Holiday

SIPTU Divisional Organiser Owen Reidy talking to the media outside Workplace Relations Commission in Dublin. Image:

The Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has welcomed a last-minute reprieve in the Luas dispute.

It follows marathon talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), and will see Luas services running tomorrow.

Minister Donohoe said: "The recommencement of services tomorrow for our St Patrick’s Day celebrations will be welcomed by commuters, tourists and businesses across the city".

"Substantial progress has been reported. Obviously this has been achieved inside the terms of current contract with no additional cost to the taxpayer".

Drivers' representatives have secured an agreement they feel they can bring back to their members. They will now be balloted on the deal.

SIPTU divisional organiser Owen Reidy explains.

"We have reached conclusive discussions with three of the grades; the Revenue Protection Officers, their supervisors and we have reached a place with the drivers where at this moment in time, the proposal from the WRC is - in their view - the best that can be achieved by negotiations at this moment in time".

"The drivers feel it is important to test the temperature of the members and put it to a ballot".

"So next week, we will make arrangements. We have deferred and suspended the work to rule and deferred the action tomorrow."

Head of the Workplace Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, was relieved after the marathon talks came to a positive conclusion:

Transdev Managing Director Gerry Madden expressed relief at the progress they made after marathon talks.

"I am delighted to confirm that we will have trams running on St Patrick's Day".

"I can't tell you how delighted I am to say that. We are back in the game now. Families. A good day out tomorrow. Kids will get to the parade. It is just such fantastic news". 

The Commission has issued four proposals in respect of three of the four grades, which will be balloted on over the next week. So let's give the guys a chance to bring that back to the depots - hopefully we will get full hands up and it will be good news towards the end of the week."

News leaked

Earlier, word leaked out of the talks that a deal had been agreed with two grades - Revenue Protection Officers and their supervisors. But drivers were the last group to settle on an agreement with management.

Talks began yesterday, and ran for more than 24 hours. 

Drivers initially made a claim for a pay increase of some 53%, before drastically cutting their demands.

The details of the deal they reached are not yet known. 

Drivers have six further days of strikes planned, including over the Easter holiday.