Luas driver's strike continues today

SIPTU's Owen Reidy hopes for more talks

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: /Rollingnews.ie

 

There's no Luas in Dublin again today, as drivers hold their eighth strike day in ongoing pay dispute.

The latest 48-hour strike comes as SIPTU and Luas operator Transdev remain deadlocked in a row over pay.

Management say they are open to a new pay proposal for drivers - as long as it is reasonable - after the most recent deal at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) was rejected by them.

Workers rejected a deal brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission last week and another two days of industrial action are planned for later this month.

SIPTU spokesperson Owen Reidy says he remains hopeful that this dispute can be resolved: “Well I hope that after today, which is day eight, I hope there's an opportunity for ourselves and Transdev to reengage because if there's to be an agreement that both sides can ultimately live with it can only happen through dialogue and discussion.”

In a statement issued ahead of this weekend's strike, Nigel Stevens of Transdev said the current demands of staff go way beyond current norms in the Private and Public sectors with essential cost offsetting measures - and are totally unaffordable.

The dispute is becoming increasingly fractious with the head of the WRC, Kieran Mulvey, yesterday being accused of bias by SIPTU chief Jack O’Connor.

Fianna Fáil's transport spokesperson Timmy Dooley says a task force should be established to bring about a resolution. He warned that the public is losing patience with the strike action.

"I fully accept the right of workers to strike but I fail to see how the action is going to assist their case", he said.

"I think the travelling public have lost respect at this stage and we now need to see a greater level of engagement between the workers and the management at Transdev".

Fears are also being raised about the impact of the strike on businesses in the capital. Transdev says each day of action costs the company alone €100,000.

While Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland says he fears it'll have a knock-on effect on jobs. "Passengers are becoming increasingly frustrated. A Saturday is nearly as busy as a Monday so any suggestion from the striking parties that this is not going to impact people, it's quite the opposite, it's going to significantly impact people."

"Passengers are becoming increasingly frustrated. A Saturday is nearly as busy as a Monday so any suggestion from the striking parties that this is not going to impact people, it's quite the opposite, it's going to significantly impact people", he said.

Another two days of industrial action is planned for later this month.