SIPTU Luas drivers have served notice today (Wednesday, 11th May) of a series of six four-hour work stoppages during June in an escalation of their industrial action in a dispute concerning pay and conditions of employment with the light rail operator Transdev. SIPTU Organiser, John Murphy, said: “SIPTU has served notice of six four-hour work stoppages. Drivers will conduct a work stoppage from 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on Thursday, 2nd June, Thursday, 9th June and Friday, 10th June. The work stoppage will be conducted from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Friday, 3rd June, Tuesday, 7th June and Wednesday, 8th June. “This escalation is as a direct result of the employers continued refusal to engage in constructive discussions and negotiations to find a fair resolution to the ongoing dispute.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, Willie Noone, said: “The members involved have been engaged in a lawful dispute with Transdev since February of this year. This dispute  could and would have been avoided if Transdev had been willing to engage positively from the outset of negotiations which commenced almost two years ago. “SIPTU and the Luas drivers workplace representatives have always remained available to resolve the dispute but unfortunately the employer has not shown a similar willingness. Transdev walked away from the negotiating table, where progress could have been made, on the 25th April last." He added: “Following this the company took the decision to write to SIPTU and our members involved in this dispute. These letters contained threats against members involved in a lawful dispute of deductions from wages, lay-offs, short time working and removal from the payroll. As a result of this action by management our members had no option but to take the decision to escalate the dispute further. “SIPTU is calling on management to withdraw its threats and engage positively with the union and the Luas drivers workplace representatives to resolve the dispute  and avoid any further disruption to the service.”