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Minister must intervene to hold more talks on Luas dispute – Ellis

14 January, 2016 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the Minister Paschal Donoghue to intervene and hold new talks between workers and employers in order to avert a strike. He made his calls following the refusal by Transdev, who operate the Luas, to work with drivers who are seeking pay increases in line with rates at other public transport companies.

Deputy Ellis said;

"The workers who drive Luas trams work very hard to provide an excellent service to tens of thousands of people every day. It is an essential transport service for our capital city which huge numbers of Dubliners depend on.

“We cannot afford to allow Transdev's refusal so far to cause major disruption to our city. The pay claims of the workers are reasonable and based on the wage levels seen in other public transport companies like Irish Rail. Driving a tram, transporting hundreds of people safely at a time is a job which deserves decent pay which allows workers to live comfortably and feel respected by employers.

“The state contracts Transdev to operate the Luas and so has a responsibility to ensure that workers are treated properly. The state should not use private operators to create worse conditions for public transport workers.

“While Transdev claim they are making a small loss, the Luas is very profitable with a captive market that almost guarantees positive returns into the future, The state has also invested hundreds of millions of euro in expanding the Luas through the cross city project, handing major growth to Transdev in the process.

“The Minister must intervene to support negotiations between workers and Transdev to ensure the maintenance of service and a fair resolution to the dispute."

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