Dublin Luas drivers in ballot for industrial action


Luas Drivers in Dublin are expected to be balloted for Industrial Action this week following an overwhelming rejection of a Labour Court Recommendation. Drivers are seeking parity with other Safety Critical staff who recently received 23 extra rest days and maximum 8 hour shifts. Drivers currently work 9 hour shifts in what is considered an extremely stressful working environment. 

Veolia Transdev, the French multinational who operate the Luas lightrail system for the RPA (Railway Procurement Agency) claim they do not have the funds to meet the 160+ drivers demands and have offered half the rest days (10) but will not reduce the shift times.

Tram drivers, who are represented by SIPTU, last week overwhelmingly rejected a Labour Court Recommendation by 91%.

This was the second ballot within a month. The first ballot was rejected by 97% of the drivers.

SIPTU is now expected to ballot members on Industrial Action which looks likely to lead to Strike Action.

Veolia Transdev and the RPA have been making a profit on an annual basis for the past ten years.

Veolia workers are the lowest paid workers in the transport system in Ireland and work longer hours than other public transport workers. All other public transport systems in Dublin finish by 2330hrs, whereas the Luas operates after 0030hrs every week night.

For commuters, the Luas is the most expensive form of public transport in the Dublin City Area.

Veolia Transdev are currently seeking a further ten year contract with the RPA which will encapsulate the proposed BXD line at a cost of  over 400 million Euro to the Irish Taxpayer.

Veolia Transdev  have been rumoured to be seeking management staff from abroad to drive trams in Dublin in the event of  a strike.

Luas tram drivers refused to train Israeli tram recruits to operate an illegal route into Palestine a number of years ago.

Image: Cropped from infomatique (William Murphy) (CC BY-SA 2.0)