LUAS DRIVERS IN the Siptu trade union have served notice that they will go on strike next month.
The strike will run on 11 and 12 February, 18 and 19 February, both Thursdays and Fridays.
Drivers voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action last week and today the union announced their drivers will strike.
Siptu organiser Owen Reidy says that the drivers are concious that their actions will inconvenience many, but felt they had no other option after talks with operators TransDev bore no results.
“In talks over the last 18 months, Transdev has failed to offer an increase in pay for the next five years to LUAS workers. The company position in talks in all forums has been that it will only offer pay increases in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
“The CPI is currently, and has been for some time, a negative figure. This means that unlike 96% of other companies across the state Transdev is not prepared to pay any increase in pay in excess of that attached to workers existing conditions of employment.”
TransDev, however, says that the Luas drivers’ demands are unreasonable.
“The claims being pursued by SIPTU on pay alone are between 8.5% and 53.8% depending on the pay scale, and would cost Transdev €30 million over the 5 years of the Luas operating contract – €6m per year.
“This is at a time when Transdev finds itself in a loss making situation.
“The loss incurred by Transdev in 2015 was €700,000 and we are predicting further losses in 2016.”
The company, in its statement this afternoon, included a link to detailed information on pay scales.
It also highlighted a bonus system for workers, in addition to pay, of up to 6.5%.
“This averages out at between €2,200 and €3,000 per employee per annum. Over 96% of employees achieve the maximum bonus.”