Luas strike to affect 90,000 in Dublin

Dublin Bus has warned commuters to leave extra time for journeys tomorrow and Friday, with demand set to increase as a result of a strike by Luas staff.

Some 90,000 Luas users are expected to make alternative arrangements when the proposed 48-hour industrial actions take place tomorrow and Friday, and again on Thursday and Friday of next week, February 18 and 19.

While Dublin Bus is not affected by the industrial action, it has asked commuters to leave extra time for their journeys and has warned that it cannot honour Luas tickets.

“Our full fleet will be deployed during the morning and evening peak times but services are expected to be busier than normal,” Dublin Bus said in a statement yesterday.

Luas operator Transdev said normal service will resume at 6.30am on Saturday, and that Luas seven-day, 30-day, monthly, and annual ticket holders will be eligible for a refund for the dates of the industrial action.

Transdev claim that Luas staff, represented by Siptu, are seeking wage increases of between 8.5% and 53% — increases the company has described as ‘unprecedented’ and said that it could not meet.

The Luas operator said that tram drivers earning €42,247 are seeking a 53.8% salary increase to €64,993 by 2017.

Transdev claimed the union demands would add 40% to its annual wage bill or €6m per year, and that the company incurred a loss of €700,000 last year.

Siptu said its members are underpaid when compared with staff in Irish Rail.

Siptu staff balloted for industrial action in early January.

The union said the ballot came about as a result of Transdev’s refusal to accept its members’ claim for improved terms and conditions of employment as part of a new collective agreement.

Talks at the Workplace Relations Commission aimed at resolving the dispute were unsuccessful.


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