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Little sympathy

An overwhelming number of people don't support the striking Luas workers

A new poll finds strong opposition to the industrial action by Luas workers over pay.

11/2/2016 Luas Transport Strikes Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of people do not support the actions of striking Luas workers, according to a new poll.

The Dublin tram service was disrupted again last weekend as Luas drivers engaged in their latest industrial action with more strikes planned later this month.

Now a new poll has found that 80% of people do not support the industrial action, which centres on workers’ pay demands.

The Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll found that just 12% of people support the strikes, while 8% said they don’t know.


The clear opposition of the general public comes after the long-running dispute has seen drivers go on strike for seven days this year, including Easter weekend.

Both Siptu and Transdev, which operates the Luas, have been negotiating a deal since August 2014, without any sign of a breakthrough.

The dispute took a turn last Friday when the head of the Workplace Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey made controversial remarks about the industrial action on Morning Ireland.

Mulvey said that Siptu did not contact him to explain why Luas drivers rejected a deal from the tram’s operator, Transdev.

He said most union representatives would get a “standing ovation” if they returned to their members with the proposals put forward by the tram operator.


The comments led to calls for Mulvey’s resignation by the Siptu president Jack O’Connor with the heightened rhetoric doing little to increase the prospect of a deal being reached to end the industrial action.

Drivers have revised down their pay claim, but say that they are being asked to “pull the ladder up” after themselves and take a pay rise at the expense of new drivers.

Last month, the WRC made recommendations that would see experienced drivers’ salaries move to €50,000 from €42,247 by 2019. This was short of the 27% raise they had requested.

More critical to many workers was the fact that a starting salary for a new Luas driver would have dropped to €29,080 from €32,311 under the WRC proposals.

The proposals were rejected by workers who now plan further strike action on 23 and 24 April.

Read: ‘Luas drivers are being portrayed as greedy hounds’

Read: Siptu isn’t happy that Transdev’s top boss came from the UK but didn’t meet workers

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