A local Senator is calling on the Luas “lunch box strike” to be derailed.

The row started when the Luas Cross City Line was introduced, and some drivers could no longer take their lunch breaks at the depot in Sandyford where their shift begins, but had to take breaks in Broombridge.

Senator Neale Richmond (FG) told Dublin Gazette that a strike would be “disastrous” for the 109,000 commuters who use the service daily.

“Prior to the cross-city LUAS, drivers only took breaks in the Sandyford depot. Subsequently, LUAS drivers rejected a recommendation by the Labour Court that they should carry their lunch in cooler bags, so they can take their breaks in either the Broombridge or Sandyford depots.

“A risk assessment found that food would be safe in the cooler bags for six hours. A ballot for industrial action has not been ruled out as a response to this issue.”

Senator Richmond said for drivers to return to their original depot for breaks, Luas operator Transdev would have to hire an additional five drivers at a cost of €250,000 to ensure the timetable would not be disrupted.

“There’s been no movement on either side and we need intense negotiations,” said Senator Richmond.

A spokesperson for Transdev told Dublin Gazette: “We have received formal notification from SIPTU of a rejection by LUAS Drivers of the Labour Court Recommendation in a ballot.

“While this is a very disappointing development, we have written to SIPTU seeking the precise reasons for that rejection and await their response.”