Update 5.07pm: Transdev's managing director has called for an end to the Luas pay dispute, saying that the public have “suffered enough”.
The comments come after the Luas operator made the decision to suspend the sick pay scheme for workers who have been involved in industrial action.
“Our financial situation is pretty grim,” said Gerry Madden.
“We’re haemorrhaging cash and we’ve got a situation where every 1% increase in absence causes the company €100k.
“We financially plan for four to four-and-a-half per cent sick, and we’re now at 12%.
“Perhaps more importantly for me is where you have a significant amount of drivers not turning up for work, and you’re under a work-to-rule, then that starts to impact on customer service, and that’s really, from my perspective – they’ve suffered enough already.”#
Update 1.33pm: SIPTU has said that it wants evidence of the 12% figure.
Spokesman Owen Reidy said that the move is fuelling the current industrial dispute.
“What we’re dealing with is a company that is alleging sick pay is at 12% and the company have decided to take 100% of the workers out of the scheme,” he said.
“That’s not provided for in the agreement, and that is a provocative act to try and, I suppose, prod the workers into submission, and it’s not going to have that result.
“What it ultimately does is escalates the dispute and I think it’s highly regrettable and it’s unfortunate that Transdev have decide to take this approach.”
Earlier: Transdev has suspended the sick pay scheme for Luas workers who are engaged in a dispute over pay.
In a letter sent to Siptu on Friday, the Luas operator said it is invoking an existing agreement which states that if absence levels rise above 4%, management has the right to suspend individuals from the regular sick pay scheme.
The company also said that the absence rate for drivers is currently running at approximately 12% "which is imposing significant additional costs on the company".
As the long-running row continues several more days of industrial action are planned for later this month and next month.