As relations deteriorate even further between Irish Rail and its unions, the mood between Luas management and staff appears to have moved from confrontational to constructive, at least for now.
Luas operator Transdev yesterday held a meeting with three staff grades — traffic supervisors, revenue protection officers, and revenue protection supervisors. Afterwards both sides were positive about how the engagement had gone and a further set of talks are expected today.
While the largest and key section of staff — the drivers — remain outside the talks at this stage, their decision on Monday to call off next weekend’s 48-hour stoppage appears to have borne fruit by securing a meeting with management. That looks likely to take place next Monday according to sources.
On a much less positive note, legal threats have been been fired off between Irish Rail and its unions over, what the company describes, as a breach of contracts by drivers who are refusing to train new recruits.
Irish Rail described the move as a continued refusal to undertake their duties.
The company’s director of human resources, Ciaran Masterson, said the action had “obviously been co- ordinated” and was clear example of unofficial industrial action. He told the two staff unions Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union to immediately inform their members to cease “this unlawful activity”.
“Failure to do so will result in action being taken against Siptu and NBRU trade unions,” he said adding that action could include the issue and service of High Court legal proceedings on the unions.
Legal representatives for the drivers said that the contention that unions had co-ordinated the refusal to train new drivers was “utterly false” and said it was a matter for individual members to decide whether they wish to volunteer to provide certain training services or not. They said any litigation by the company would be defended in full.
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