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Further disruption as Luas drivers stage eighth day of strike action

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Further disruption as Luas drivers stage eighth day of strike action

Luas drivers are on their eighth day of strike action today, in ongoing row over pay.

Tram operator Transdev and the workers' union, SIPTU, both say they are open to further talks in an effort to resolve the dispute.

Drivers say they want to see better terms and conditions as well as increased pay.

The latest 48-hour strike comes as both sides in the dispute - SIPTU and Transdev - remain deadlocked after workers rejected a deal brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Another two days of industrial action is planned for later this month.

SIPTU's Owen Reidy said that at this stage everybody needed to compromise.

"Ultimately what everybody needs to do is step back and reflect on where we're at," he said.

"Everybody needs to compromise. It's quite clear that, notwithstanding the efforts of the WRC, their proposals did not get the support of the drivers.

"We need to look at the reasons why and look to see whether they can be addressed, and I hope they can."

The drivers rejected the WRC proposals for an 18% pay rise by almost 100% last week. Drivers told their union the reasons for the rejection included:
Transdev said the money does not exist to raise the offer.

A war of words erupted on Friday between SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor and WRC chair Kieran Mulvey after the latter's public comments that he was at a loss as to why the dispute is continuing, and why union representatives had not contacted him since they rejected the new deal.

He suggested a five-day Luas service may have to be looked at, and that most union officials who received the 18% proposal would have taken it back to their members and would have received a standing ovation.

Jack O'Connor accused him of bias against the union and called on him to step down, which Mr Mulvey rejected outright.