Luas operator Transdev calls off plans to operate buses on St Patrick's Day

The move came after the WRC invited Transdev and SIPTU to take part in fresh talks tomorrow

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Luas operator Transdev has confirmed it will not run a bus service on St Patrick's Day, as efforts continue to resolve the pay dispute between drivers and the company.

Transdev had announced plans for the service between Luas Park and Ride stops and Dublin city centre after drivers said they will strike on March 17th.

Unions had condemned the move as 'strike breaking' and 'scab labour'.

In a statement this evening, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) said it had extended an invitation to Transdev and drivers' union SIPTU to attend talks at the WRC tomorrow.

The statement added, "in order to create a climate of positivity to these engagements, and without prejudice to the position of any party, the Commission has requested the Company to defer any alternative travel arrangements for Luas passengers on Thursday, St Patrick’s Day".

The WRC says it expects both parties to engage constructively to resolve the dispute and prevent more disruption for the general public.

Transdev managing director Gerry Madden confirmed that the company will not operate the bus service, adding that the company "is in resolution mode and is happy to go to talks tomorrow in the WRC and engage in meaningful discussions.”

Luas drivers have reduced their pay claim from 53% over five years, to between 27% and 30%. However, Transdev has previously refused to sit down with drivers, who make up 170 of the company's 250 staff.

As well as the St Patrick's Day industrial action, Luas drivers have said they will strike on Easter Sunday and Monday. Two further 48-hour stoppages have been announced for next month.