Trams Like Us


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Further to SIPTU Luas workers implementing work-to-rule since Saturday…

There will be no Luas services on either the Red or Green lines this Thursday and Friday, February 11 and 12, and next Thursday and Friday, February 18 and 19 – due to strike action.

Transdev, which operates the Luas, writes:

The strike is about pay, terms and conditions. Luas employees are demanding various increases and on pay alone these demands range from 8.5% to 53.4%. The company has paid year on year pay increases since 2008 of between 1.25% to 5% and an annual bonus averaging €2,500.

The cost of these current demands would add 40% to the annual wage bill or €6 million per year, €30 million over five years.

Alternatively, SIPTU sez:

“The company [Transdev] has failed to show any initiative in the effort to find an agreed resolution to the dispute. Management representatives merely reiterated a previously stated position that our members cannot expect to receive pay rises over the next five years and that any rise that might be granted would be limited to an increase in the Consumer Price Index.

“…. Due to the intransigent position displayed by management it is certain that the scheduled work stoppages will proceed on Thursday, 11th and Friday, 12th and Thursday, 18th Friday and 19th February. The workers are conscious of the inconvenience these stoppages will have on their customers but believe they have no option but to conduct this industrial action.”


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98 thoughts on “Trams Like Us

  1. ollie

    A transport service that carried over 34 million passengers in 2015 going on strike? Don’t worry, Pascal Donohoe will be all over this one as would any decent Minister

  2. BS

    Zero sympathy for these idiots. Unskilled job. 7 weeks basic training. €35k starting wage. What other job would offer that?! Start training in replacements now and fire the strikers in 7 weeks.

    1. The Real Jane

      *What other job would offer that?!*

      Yeah, they pay you in smarties so why should anyone else expect to have a normal standard of living from their job? A roof over your head is a grossly inflated notion of what full time employment should provide.

      1. Brian S

        Eh 35k is the average wage you fool. Plus the job involves having zero training or education. I’m sure all of the drivers are more than comfortable with their yearly bonus and high wage.

  3. Boba Fettucine

    Left out of the above is the fact that tram drivers (control forward speed with lever, open doors, close doors) get €43k at present and want to go up to €65k by 2017.

    I would’ve thought wage increases in line with the cost of living would be quite reasonable, but no.

      1. Boba Fettucine

        As with every other job in the world – the cheapest rate possible to deliver the service required balancing skills and training and the requirement for medium term retention to minimise training costs.

        This is why neurosurgeons get paid more than people working in Centra. The skill set of a tram driver would be more closely allied to latter, so I’d expect the salaries to be similar. As it is tram drivers (read/write) get more than secondary school teachers (degree + postgrad).

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “As with every other job in the world – the cheapest rate possible to deliver the service required balancing skills and training and the requirement for medium term retention to minimise training costs.”

          The cheapest possible? Every other job in the world? Ok. I can see what I’m dealing with here.

          “This is why neurosurgeons get paid more than people working in Centra.”

          You seem to be forgetting that availability also comes into the equation. There are lots of Centra jobs. There are very few neurosurgeon jobs.

          “The skill set of a tram driver would be more closely allied to latter, so I’d expect the salaries to be similar.”

          I’m not sure how familiar you are with the concept of supply and demand. You’re not automatically entitled to lots of money because you have a degree.

          1. Boba Fettucine

            And yet conversely you are automatically entitled to more money because you drive a bus or tram? Is this because you have the ability to inconvenience a large % of the city’s workforce if you don’t get what you want?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            You are entitled to more money if there is more demand for your job and your company won a €150 million contract a year ago. Also, as regards your second question, if I’m a Luas driver, I’m thinking holding the multinational I work for to account and making sure they pay me and my colleagues our fair share of the money we helped them earn is far more important than you having to get out of bed 30 minutes earlier one day.

          3. Boba Fettucine


            “More demand for your job”
            “Holding company to account”


            “Ability to blackmail your employer through inconveniencing their clients (and ergo the people who pay your wages) into random pay increases.”

            If they’re able to blackmail their way into more money for no extra effort fair play to them for their rampant capitalism. Don’t paint it as a moral crusade though, or expect sympathy from the general public.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            I note your attempt at spinning workers standing up for themselves as ‘blackmail’. One might assume you have an agenda. Just because selfish people like you think workers standing up for themselves isn’t important, doesn’t mean *anyone* is going to agree with you.

          5. Boba Fettucine

            Standing up for themselves how?

            They are not being asked to do any more work than before.

            The Consumer Price Index is effectively zero, so their salary has not decreased in real terms. Their employers are still offering pay increases and annual bonuses, jut not as much as they would like.

            What about the 90,000 people expected to have their commute into work affected by this strike? Are they not ‘workers’ according to your definition? Are SIPTU workers more important somehow? I guess they can just get up ’30 minutes earlier’ as you state above.

            As for the €150m contract you keep talking about. This isn’t profit – it’s over 5 years and covers maintenance and upgrades to lines and rolling stock, as well as a commitment to carry higher numbers of passengers. It’s not a winning lotto ticket to be divvied up among tram drivers.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Standing up for themselves how?”

            By striking. You know, the thing we’re talking about.

            “They are not being asked to do any more work than before.”

            They’re asking for market rates.

            “What about the 90,000 people expected to have their commute into work affected by this strike?”

            What about them? Is them getting up 30 minutes earlier really more important than workers standing up to their multinational employer?

            “As for the €150m contract you keep talking about. This isn’t profit”

            Right, it’s increased turnover. The company is now getting in more money than ever before so they need to pay their staff who helped them achieve that income more than ever before.

          7. Boba Fettucine

            “Market Rates” – as defined by whom? SIPTU?

            “What about them? Is them getting up 30 minutes earlier really more important than workers standing up to their multinational employer?”

            Here’s the real crux of it – you don’t care about 90,000 people as long as your union brethren get what they want, as defined by themselves with no reference to market forces.

            And nice job on the “multinational”. They’re French actually, but this clearly makes them inherently evil in your eyes.


            Racist? Check
            No understanding of correlation between effort and reward? Check
            Complete disdain for everyone else in the workforce? Check

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            ““Market Rates” – as defined by whom? SIPTU?”

            As defined by the market.

            “you don’t care about 90,000 people as long as your union brethren get what they want”

            And here we see how right wing useful idiots deal with reality; spin. What you can see here is a lie. What I actually said was that 90,000 people having to get out of bed in the morning 30 minutes early one day is not as important as a group of workers standing up for themselves. Of course this becomes the lie above because he can’t admit what I’m saying is right.

            “And nice job on the “multinational”. They’re French actually, but this clearly makes them inherently evil in your eyes.”

            LOL. You might want to read up on the term ‘multinational’. I thought you might have an agenda earlier. Clearly you’re just an idiot.

          9. SB

            I’m either misunderstanding you or misunderstanding the laws of supply and demand, but I don’t think that availability has anything to do with it AT ALL. Very few neurosurgical positions would imply there would, if allowed, be a ‘reverse auction’ where potential employees would offer their services at a lower rate to secure the job. The high salary for this job reflects the skill level required. The only supply and demand in job scenarios is the number of positions vs the number of qualified applicants.

            Where a job like being a Luas driver is very much in demand, it doesn’t mean you should get MORE money, it’s actually the reverse – the higher demand for it means they can offer a lower wage and there’d still be queues out the door for a highly paid, low-skilled job like this.

          10. classter

            ‘Out of a €150 million contract? Yep.’

            Why is the overall size of the contract (without any context) a justification for demanding a salary double the national average? And for a relatively low-skilled job?

            That contract includes for all sorts of things – safety measures, maintenance, power, etc. And for all sorts of employees, from mechanics to cleaners to the guys that stare at screens in the control office.

      1. dav

        unfortunately there is never any end in the battle between the employer and the employee, just know that the day the employee doesn’t fight back is the day that serfdom/slavery is back.

  4. Serv

    And now the bus drivers are saying they should be paid in line with Luas drivers.

    You couldn’t make this up.

    1. The Real Jane

      The bloody cheek! How dare they have these notions? You get a kicking from your slavedriver and are grateful for it, too!

      1. Boba Fettucine

        Alternately they could just get another job using their skills that would pay them more money? Unless you’re saying they don’t have transferable skills, are eminently replaceable and are looking for pay increases in companies which are already running at a loss? But you couldn’t be saying that, right?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          I can just see Larkin now. ‘Lads, just get another job!’. Are you sure Transdev are operating at a loss?

  5. Anomanomanom

    It’s typical siptu. Give us what we want, no matter how unreasonable, or we’ll strike and cause chaos. Scum is all siptu is.

    1. ahjayzis

      Unless it’s the government – in that case have at it lads. The quietest, most acquiescent, right-wing trade unions in the world. Completely pointless and play no role in society beyond the odd pay claim. They’re agents, not unions.

  6. rob

    Anyone know what happened with Irish Rail. Why did the second strike not happen. Presumably they got what they wanted…

  7. Mike Oxlong

    With the inflationary environment we currently find ourselves in, pay rises of this magnitude are completely just.

    Oh wait…….

  8. Mick

    There are probably a large amount of people out there that would happily do this job for the current wages. Its not exactly rocket science. They are not irreplaceable. Sometimes I swear Siptu cant see this. Its not like its such a low paid job that its below the average wage. Its actually significantly above it. I am sure there are alot of people that would take the job on at its current pay

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “They are not irreplaceable.”

      Nobody is and that includes employers themselves. Curious as to why you think it’s relevant though. If you’re replaceable, you should accept whatever your employer does and thus lose the right to strike? Is that your position?

      “I am sure there are alot of people that would take the job on at its current pay.”

      You have no problem then with migrants coming over here? If a migrant was to pitch for your job and hugely undercut you on the wage, your response would ‘oh well, that’s fine’ right?

      1. Boba Fettucine

        Interesting that there’s no room for migrants in your socialist utopia.

        You don’t drive one of those taxis with ‘full time taxi driver’ stickers by any chance?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “Interesting that there’s no room for migrants in your socialist utopia.”

          Well that’s not at all surprising. You just chant slogans without any understanding of their meaning nor consequences. Well one of your chants is about migrants taking jobs and making them cheaper for others and here you are advocating people to do the same thing. That’s because, as I said, slogan chanters don’t actually understand what they’re saying.

          1. Boba Fettucine

            What are you talking about? You’re the first person to mention migrants in this thread.

            As it happens I’m very happy to welcome migrants – I believe everyone should be able to compete equally based on their skills and talents, regardless of race or creed.

            This isn’t a viewpoint widely shared among the Union Fraternity though, is it? Why is that?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “What are you talking about?”

            You contradicting a common right wing meme.

            “You’re the first person to mention migrants in this thread.”

            Yes, to point out that you contradicted that right wing meme. You never answered the question by the way, would you be happy if an immigrant pitched for your job by asking for significantly less wages?

            “This isn’t a viewpoint widely shared among the Union Fraternity though, is it?”

            Is it not?

            “Why is that?”

            Why are you asking me?

      2. Mick

        Im replaceable at a higher cost to my employer than what they currently pay given that it would take almost a year in training snd they would be hiring someone that wouldn’t know our market as well. I am in a bit of a niche area.

        I am myself a “migrant” although when an Irish person my age goes overseas to work hard, pay taxes and make a career for them selves they are not viewed with such disdain. Interesting. I have no interest in “going home” I have an interest in staying here.

        I know a large amount of Irish people that would take the luas job at its current rate of pay. There is no “market rate” really. You quote a market rate when you can move job with minimal disruption. I.E same city almost. Last I looked there is only one luas in Dublin.

        Let them strike. Start training their replacements.

    2. Boba Fettucine

      I commonly compete with people from China and India for work. What’s your point? That I shouldn’t have to and that I should be able to get paid whatever I want by inconveniencing 90,000 other people on a whim?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        I don’t mean clients, I mean you’re actual job. Seriously man. Learn to read. If an immigrant went to your boss and pitched for your job by offering to work for far smaller wages than what you are on, would you be happy if they got your job?

        1. Boba Fettucine

          I’m my own boss. I’m self employed. I make whatever wages I can make. I compete with people from around the world. Does this make me not a ‘worker’?

          And its “your” not “you’re”. This is the kind of thing I beat the Indians and Chinese on :)

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Great. That doesn’t make any difference to the fact though that you advocated that people should just leave their jobs if they’re not happy with the pay and let someone else do it who *is* happy with the pay. I’m just pointing out that you, right there, are backing immigrants coming in and undercutting Irish workers but maybe you’re ok with that seeing as you like to pay people as little as possible.

          2. Boba Fettucine

            Absolutely. I’m 100% in favour of bringing in ‘immigrants’. The more the merrier. Is this a bad thing?

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            No, I’m all for it. Again, I’m just pointing out that you’re contradicting a traditional right wing meme. Just for your own future reference.

          4. Boba Fettucine

            What’s that got to do with anything? I’m not a right-wing demagogue. I’m just opposed to strikes being used to achieve unjustified pay hikes for a small minority by inconveniencing the great majority. I think Public Transport should be in the same category as other essential services (eg Guards) and a ban on strike action implemented.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “What’s that got to do with anything? I’m not a right-wing demagogue.”

            Earlier you said this; “Interesting that there’s no room for migrants in your socialist utopia.” I can’t think of too many non right wing demagogues that would use the term ‘socialist utopia’ especially in a conversation with someone who has not even come close to declaring themselves a socialist. Not only are you using that term, you are also displaying a reactionary mindset in assuming anyone who disagrees with you on this *must* be a socialist. If you’re not a right wing demagogue, you do a brilliant impression of one.

  9. Bort

    I have a degree, a post-grad, 8 years experience in my job, I’m on 30k, I asked for a raise, they told me I was lucky to have a job and come back to them in 12 months and maybe I might get a 5% raise. Where do I sign up to drive the luas?

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      I get it. You made some crappy life decisions so everyone else should suffer like you. Jayzus but there are drawbacks to democracy.

      1. Brian S

        So higher education is a poor life choice?!!

        You’ve convinced me. Let’s all leave school at 16 and not go to college, get jobs that require zero education or skills and then ask for more money than people who study for years and actually work are on.

        You are an absolute moron moyest

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Oh dear. It helps discourse by responding to what I actually said as opposed to something I didn’t say at all. It just makes you look crazy.

      2. Bort

        Well if I go on strike I get the boot but I don’t wreck 90,000 other peoples heads for 5 days, they’ve been on a go-slow yesterday and today, no doubt tomorrow as a warm up for the full strike.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          I can’t think of any response to this other than the one I already gave you. You have crappy employment conditions so you’re begrudging other people trying to improve theirs. You can shove your regressive and frankly moronic attitude up your selfish hoop. People like you hold the whole country back.

    2. BS

      Unfortunately you can’t apply for them. The ceo of transdev stated on the radio a few weeks ago that they never need to advertise free roles as someone always knows someone who will take the job.

      For 35k and no education needed I’d happily take that. I’m in a skilled it job and I’m only earning that

    3. The Real Jane

      *Where do I sign up to drive the luas?*

      I have a degree and two post grads and I can figure it out. Possibly another two years are in order?

  10. Starina

    wish i got a bonus of 2500, my job involves a lot more stress and brainwork thank pushing a fuppin lever

  11. MoyestWithExcitement

    Clearly we’re still a nation of begrudgers who want to drag everyone else down to our level. This country is still going to be fupped for a while.

    1. Brian S

      Especially when idiots like you are allowed to vote and have an opinion. Back to the bog with you

    2. Owen C

      People are ‘begrudging’ cos its going to inconvenience them. Its not just a choice of “oh why can’t you get up 30 mins earlier”, Luas drivers are forcing this upon other people, for their own benefit.

      Public transport is not an open competitive industry. It is still regulated by the government/public sector authorities. The Luas was paid for with public investment, so if Luas drivers go on strike, it can’t just be used by someone else very easily, so it is a cost being borne by the public. Light rail is not some sort of open market, it is entirely closed, with the only competition arriving via tendering for the franchise every X numbers of years. The purpose of the Luas is to provide a low cost, fast and reliable transport service for Dublin commuters, not to provide high paid jobs for a small set of drivers.

      Luas drivers are not some downtrodden class of workers, they earn pay at or above the average wages, for a job requiring little in the way of qualification or skills. They have not worked harder/better to create the value in the Luas franchise (they have worked as hard as they were required to do), that has arisen due to a combination of great investment in the beginning (private and public sector), and good management of the service by the franchise provider.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “People are ‘begrudging’ cos its going to inconvenience them.”

        Yep. Workers have to group together to take on the power of a multi national and people like you think ‘How dare they make my drive to work half an hour longer’. That highly selfish attitude holds us all back.

        1. Boba Fettucine

          Workers have to group together whether they like it or not, regardless of whether their opinion has been canvassed or not. Some animals are more equal than others.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Some animals are more equal than others.”

            Yeah ok buddy. You keep telling yourself that fictional books are reality.

          2. Boba Fettucine

            Ok – I must bow to your superior trolling skills. You had me for a while there. Well played.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Trolling trolls is embarrassingly easy though so I don’t need your praise, as much as I appreciate it.

          4. Owen C

            when most people go on strike, they do not force significant inconvenience on others, because most people work in open competitive industries where there is an easy substitution of goods or services. If Dunnes strike, I go to Tesco. If McDonalds strike, i go to BK. If a hotel strikes, I stay elsewhere. Even if Aer Lingus goes on strike, I might at least have some other options for the same trip. Luas workers, by virtue of operating in an industry heavily protected by regulatory authorities and benefiting from huge long term public investment which acts as a barrier to entry, know that people cannot easily find a substitute for the Luas. What if i don’t live near another public transport link that will service the required route, or if I don’t have a car? Should i pay for a taxi? Should my kids have to find a far more complicated route to school that they may be unfamiliar with? Should an older person find themselves unable to make a convenient journey for the four days over the next couple of weeks? What about people who rely on it to go to St James, the Coombe, Tallaght or Loughlinstown Hospitals, all of which are well serviced by the Luas? How about Luas workers come up with a more sophisticated bargaining strategy with management which didn’t effect the consumer? Might that attract a little bit more sympathy?

  12. JD

    We need a good healthy dose of sustained industrial action. It will be a pain for commuters but it is time for some pain all round. The drivers are being used as proxies in a union war…

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      100% We’ll continue to have trouble progressing as a nation and society while we have parochial gombeens holding us back like some of the idiots on this thread.

        1. Tucker Done

          “I have a degree, a post-grad, 8 years experience in my (skilled IT) job, I’m on 30k”

          Does not compute Brian. Maybe the crappy life decisions Moyest was referring to were either your choice of degree or postgrad or the amount of study you put into those or how you’ve spent 8 years in the same job without getting a raise and put up with that.

          1. Lorcan Nagle

            I was making over 30K after 4 years working in the IT industry. Do you mind me asking what area you’re working in Brian?

  13. Conor

    £20,000 – £25,000 in Edinburgh. Qualifications are simply a clean 5 year driving license and less than 3 penalty points. The money they’re looking for in Dublin is outrageous for such an ordinary job – might apply myself!

  14. nellyb

    LUAS is a private business, it operates without state subsidies as far as I know. Unlike Abtran or other tax propped “private” businesses.
    Wage bargaining is standard and expected, from lowest to highest paid in the company. Any company.
    Very steep rent increases in Dublin “bleed” people’s incomes. Standard pay increases (1.2-5%) do not cover rent increase. People get together and bargain with business owner. What’s wrong with that???

    1. Owen C

      It doesnt need subsidies, but it does operate a publicly provided franchise on tram tracks owned by the public, in a heavily protected industry. As such, normal wage bargaining has a much higher impact on the general public. Workers know they can strike here with little fear of the business going bust. Workers in other industries do not have that luxury, which in this case is a luxury provided by the public.

    2. Serv

      Simple: their demands are unreasonable and their reaction to not getting what they want will create hardship for tens of thousands of ppl.

  15. dardar

    I have no sympathy for them. I actually wish the government would pull the transdev contract right now. If either party wanted the public’s support they should have come up with worked examples by now to elicit sympathy. I wonder if any example of how ‘poorly’ they are paid would actually elicit support.

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