Luas drivers to lose full day’s pay for four hour stoppages

Siptu divisional organiser Owen Reidy says Transdev is ‘reckless and out of control’

Pay proposals rejected by Luas staff have led to further strike action. But what terms are the workers looking for?

 

Luas drivers will lose a full day’s pay if they engage in planned four-hour work stoppages in the coming weeks, the operator of the light rail system Transdev has said.

Given the scheduled four-hour stoppages are due to take place in June, the move potentially raises again the prospect of industrial action affecting Luas during the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert exams.

Following controversy last week on the issue, Luas drivers re-arranged the timing of the planned four-hour strikes so as to avoid disruption to students sitting State examinations.

In a letter to the trade union Siptu, the company said it was mindful of the need to ensure a service operated on the dates of the State examinations and would write to staff separately about stoppages scheduled for June 8th, 9th and 10th. Other four hour stoppages are due to take place on May 26th, June 3rd and June 7th, before the exams begin.

Transdev sources said it was not the intent of Transdev to affect examination students. It is understood the company will tell staff that if they work on the days concerned, they will be paid.

In the letter, Transdev managing director Gerry Madden said: “We will no longer accept part performance of the duties required under employees’ contracts of employment and will not pay employees at all for any shifts on which the employees are rostered in circumstances where the employees engage in strike action for any part of those shifts.

“In addition, if any employee engages in unofficial industrial action, we will impose the full costs and losses associated with the unofficial action on employees involved in such action.”

Transdev has already imposed a 10 per cent pay cut on drivers who are engaged in a work to rule. The company has also suspended drivers from a sick pay scheme at the company.

Drivers are set to stage a full day of strike action on Friday as part of their ongoing campaign for improved pay and conditions.

Siptu divisional organiser Owen Reidy described Transdev as reckless and out of control.

He told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show the company is “pouring fuel on the fire”.

He claimed Transdev is breaking the rules of engagement and making what is a difficult situation worse.

“We had the pay cut, we had the unilateral breach of the sick pay agreement, and now we effectively have Transdev saying a four hour stoppage is going to become a 12 hour stoppage,” he said.

“If the union operated in that way we’d be injuncted.”