Strike action threatening to cripple Luas services in Dublin throughout St Patrick’s Day has been called off, operators have announced.
Marathon talks to resolve a row between tram drivers and bosses are ongoing, but Thursday’s planned stoppage was put off after some reported progress.
Gerry Madden, managing director of Luas operator Transdev Ireland, said: “I am delighted to confirm we will have tram services running for St Patrick’s Day.”
Strikes were planned for the national holiday when about a quarter of a million people travel into the centre of the capital for the country’s largest celebrations.
Both sides in the Luas dispute have been locked in negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission.
In the first sign of a breakthrough, the mediators have drawn up proposals to resolve the fall-out among three of the four grades of staff involved.
“We have not at this stage reached a final agreement in respect of the traffic supervisor grade but do hope it will be resolved over the course of the next few days following further conversation,” added Mr Madden.
Trade union Siptu confirmed Thursday’s Luas strike has been “deferred” to allow union members to be balloted on the proposals.
Owen Reidy, of Siptu, said: “The drivers feel it is important to test the temperature of the members and put it to a ballot.
“Next week we will make arrangements (for the ballot). We have suspended the work-to-rule and deferred the action tomorrow.”
Mr Reidy added: “If members accept those proposals, the dispute for those grades will be over. If they don’t, it will obviously escalate.”
Strike action at the tram system was also planned for Easter weekend March 26-27 – and two further weekends, April 2-3 and 23-24.