Siptu hits out at ‘implied Luas threat’

Siptu has said an “implied threat of cutbacks” by Luas operators, if workers continue with a strike action, will not help bring the dispute to a conclusion.

Last week, Luas staff turned down proposals brokered by the Workplace Relations Commission that would have seen pay rises of up to 18.7%. The workers had initially been seeking increases of up to 53%.

A further 48-hour stoppage is due to take place this weekend, affecting thousands of commuters.

Nigel Stevens, chief executive of Transdev’s UK and Ireland operations, which include the Luas, yesterday wrote to staff telling them he had been in Dublin this week “to meet with a number of key stakeholders”.

In the letters he said: “To be 100% clear, there is no additional funding, nor will there be, from Transdev or other sources to allow for any improved offer.

“You must understand that we have a diminishing pool of financial resources that reduces with every additional day of industrial action. If the action persists then not only will we be unable to deal with a claim for pay progression but we will have to initiate discussions with staff to align our existing cost base with available resources.”

Transdev managing director Gerry Madden was asked if this meant pay cuts or job losses. “I sincerely hope not,” he said.

Siptu organiser John Murphy said: “The implied threat in the CEO’s letter to staff that there will be cutbacks at the company if the industrial action continues does not assist in bringing this dispute to a conclusion and we ask him to withdraw it.”

His colleague, Willie Noone, criticised Mr Stevens for not meeting Luas workers. “At such a meeting he would have been informed why the WRC proposals in relation to the Luas dispute were rejected overwhelmingly by workers in a recent ballot.”


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