That’s what happens when you don’t pay your workers properly. The strike of the SIPTU (Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union) workers will stop Dublin for the next two days. The Luas (one of Dublin’s trams lines) operator Transdev haven’t got along with their employees for weeks. Better buy a comfortable pair of shoes.
The action will hit about one hundred thousand commuters. The Luas has two main lines (green and red). They started operating in 2004 and now have 54 stations and 36,5 kilometres of track.
Since 2011, during the national and global recession, Transdev’s income has grown by over 30%. At the same time employees salaries were constant. 2,5 % rise is not a change. Especially when you realise that Ireland has had inflation for years (prices growing).
Luas drivers want to negotiate their salaries up to 52% over five years. As always they will not achieve it. SIPTU representatives are less optimistic. They want 12 per cent less. We also know which solution is the best for the employer. They would rather not changing anything. So negotiations are supposed to be long and exhausting. Especially for Dublin citizens. The next strike can be a matter of time.
Managing Director of Transdev Gerry Madden said that management is going to resolve the problem. As he said, no other company in Ireland has been faced with pay demands of that kind. He noted that the Irish tram drivers receive one of the biggest salaries. No statistics were shown.
Happily strikes are not only the invention of Ireland. In the transport sector there are easiest to execute. Now it can be a great opportunity to try more healthy ways of transportation. Cycling, running, walking are for everyone and bikes don’t strike.
There is a single country in Europe where tram workers do not have a problem with their employers. In Denmark no tramway system exists.