The Luas drivers have decided that the compromise offer negotiated with the help of the Workplace Relations Commission is not acceptable by them and that they will continue with their threatened strike action and will not work on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, the two main days of 1916 Commemorations.
Because they stand up for their rights, the trade union supporters and left organisations have them declared to be heroes and someone even dared comparing their action with the workers that were involved in the 1913 lockout in Dublin.
The vast majority, however, is outraged about their demands and the fact that the upset the Easter Rising commemorations for 10s of thousands of people.
We all have a certain opinion about the Luas drivers and most would agree that they are not in the slightest oppressed and also are not working under terrible conditions, so a comparison to 193 conditions is laughable. But they do have the right to ask for more money. However, do they have a right to FORCE any arbitrary claim through and at the same time upset all the people that pay their salary? Well, that is where the opinions differ.
Surprisingly the Anti Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit issued a very strong statement in support of the striking Luas drivers. Why is it surprising? Well, Richard Boyd-Barrett, the leader of PBP tells us that he is only taking EUR 29,000 of his TD salary and he seems to imply that a) that is enough and b) all TDs should be happy with that. (Unfortunately, he still keeps the rest of the 92k salary, just not for his personal use, but he gives it to his party. So we (i.e. the State) don’t really benefit from his frugality.)
Now, if 29k should be enough for everyone and considering that the Luas drivers currently get between 32,000 and 42,000 plus bonus for an average of less than 36 hours per week, is the AAA-PBP support for the drivers then not a little surprising?
By the way, I said that the Luas drivers have a right to ask for more money and they also have a right to strike if they are not happy and reject an offer if they think it is not fair. But based on the law of human society “The liberty of one citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” their strike tactics is highly questionable.