Transdev asks SIPTU to call off tomorrow's strike by Luas drivers

The Luas operator says it is available for talks immediately, ahead of the 12th work stoppage by drivers

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Luas operator Transdev is calling on SIPTU to call off tomorrow's strike action by drivers.

The company says it has no desire to prolong the dispute and will make themselves available for discussions 'immediately'.

Transdev also claims that the absence rate for drivers is currently running at approximately 12%, which is imposing significant additional costs on the company.

In a statement, Transdev Managing Director Gerry Madden said: “We understand the frustration of the public who like us wish to see this dispute resolved and we appreciate their ongoing understanding as we seek to achieve a fair resolution. The company is not prepared to conclude an agreement with the Drivers that provides for increases in excess of what has been agreed with the other Grades up to September 2019".

Mr Madden hopes the drivers will settle, claiming the drivers' aspirations were "unrealistic in the first place [...] We'd like to think that maybe they've moved on".

Tram drivers are due to walk off the job for a 12th day tomorrow in a long running row over pay.

Further work stoppages by drivers are scheduled for May 26th, May 27th, June 2nd, June 3rd, June 7th, June 8th, June 9th and June 10th.

Three other staff grades reached a deal with the company last month. 

Transdev has suspended sick pay for all Luas drivers, and intends to deduct a full day’s wages from drivers taking part in part-day strikes next month.

Drivers have already had their pay cut by 10% for continuing their work-to-rule protest.

SIPTU organiser Owen Reidy said earlier this week that he viewed the sick pay suspension as an escalation of the dispute.

In today's statement, Transdev also says that all actions it has taken to date "are lawful and are in response to the nature of the industrial action being pursued".