The massive rejection by Luas drivers of the proposed settlement from the WRC is absolutely justified.
Despite the perception of the deal, the WRC proposals represented a major setback for Luas drivers who rejected this as a “divisive pay deal”.
Drivers would have to work an extra twelve days a year, the increase of 18.5% over three years would only apply to a minority of drivers and disgracefully, the new entrants rates of pay were being pushed back to 2004 rates at €29,000 per annum.
Luas workers have shown solidarity with each other’s grades by rejecting this deal and have shown that so called “yellow pack” grades of workers that discriminate against new entrants are unacceptable.
Already Gardai, Nurses and Teachers are opposing such reduced grades for new entrants. Luas drivers are in the front line of fighting against such discrimination.
TD Brid Smith says “The pay demands and the claims submitted on terms and conditions are still outstanding and must be urgently dealt with by Transdev. This company stands to massively increase its revenue and its profits when the Red and Green lines are joined in 2017 but it is clearly preparing the way to reduce the living standards of its workers. The Anti-Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit expresses its full solidarity and support of the Luas drivers and in the event of another strike will be on the pickets lines with the strikers until they win fair play and a decent pay rise.”
TD Paul Murphy commented : “This dispute is about the right of all workers to benefit from the recovery that has been announced, but not experienced. Since 2008, profits are up by over 30%, while average wages are still down. All of the fruits of the recovery are going to those at the top. A victory for Luas workers will help give confidence to other workers to demand and struggle for wage increases and decent terms and conditions. In supporting the Luas drivers we are saying we are for a society with decent living standards for all instead of a race to the bottom in order to maximise profits for major multinationals like Transdev.”