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Transport Minister not happy with Luas operator on plans to dock workers' pay

The minister has also defended himself against claims made by Siptu.

Image: Sam Boal

TRANSPORT MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has criticised Luas operator Transdev for its future plans to dock striking workers’ pay.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning, Minister Donohoe said there “were some things now that Transdev have talked about” that he would not like to see happening.

“I have been critical and was critical when we got to a point where strikes happened across the commemoration period across Easter,” said the Minister.

Equally there are some things now that have been communicated by Transdev that I would not like to see happening.

When pushed on what these things were, Donohoe said it was “the prospect of a relationship being developed between fines and the wages of workers”.

Fines

All workers on the Luas service employed by Transdev were put on protective notice on Tuesday evening – meaning that their jobs were at risk of being lost.

In a letter to workers, seen by TheJournal.ie, Transdev said that from 24 April onwards it will begin to “recover the costs” from workers it is incurring from the industrial action, i.e. that it will dock striking workers’ pay.

Minister Donohoe criticised this move and also defended himself against claims made by Owen Reidy of Siptu that he had had quietly “given the nod” for these actions to be taken.

Donohoe strongly denied this claim this morning, stating that his consent “was not needed” for such actions to be taken.

“I think he went on the make the point that he was assuming that in some way I was behind that as minister,” said Donohoe.

I was aware of the possibility of this happening but my consent is not needed – I’m not the shareholder, Transdev are an employer themselves.

Luas workers have until Sunday to accept a lower pay deal than the one that they rejected before Easter at the Workplace Relations Commission.

They are likely to reject the deal, making all-out strike a distinct possibility

Read: Luas talks broke down almost as soon as they started

Read: All-out strike ‘seriously on the agenda’ for Luas workers as dispute escalates

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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