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Minister says Luas plan for St Patrick's Day buses is an 'exceptional measure'

The company that operates the service will be providing buses along the red and green line routes as drivers strike on Thursday.

Image: PA

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Paschal Donohoe has described a plan by Luas operator Transdev to hire private buses during a Luas strike on St Patrick’s Day as an “exceptional fallback measure”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Donohoe said the decision to bring in a bus service was taken to cater for a public holiday.

However, he said he hoped a solution could be reached that would avert planned strike action and ensure the back-up measure was not required.

Transdev announced on Friday that it planned to provide a bus to transport passengers between Dublin city centre and park-and-ride stops every 10 minutes on Thursday.

The National Bus and Rail Union has criticised the move as “Thatcherite”, saying the company is using what amounts to “scab labour” to undermine its workers.

Luas drivers are due to strike on St Patrick’s Day, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, as well as on 2, 3, 23 and 24 April.

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They are seeking better working conditions and wage increases of up to 30% over the next five years – pay claims Transdev says it cannot afford.

Management are due to resume talks with three of four staff grades at the company on Monday. Discussions with the Siptu-represented drivers broke down last week.

Read: St Patrick’s Day bus service to counter Luas strike described as “scab labour”

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Catherine Healy

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