Irish Water workers ballot for industrial action

Row centres over proposed cuts to jobs

Source: Irish Times Nov 10, 2015

Local authority workers who are providing services for Irish Water are balloting for industrial action in a dispute over proposed cuts to staffing levels.

The trade union Siptu said it was opposed to plans by management to reduce unilaterally the numbers of frontline water workers.

The union said the decision to ballot for industrial action followed on from an announcement by management that it intended “to break a service level agreement and enforce up to 1,500 job losses among frontline water service workers”.

Siptu organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “The company has not explained who would carry out essential work if these jobs are lost. It can only be deduced that the plan is to expand the number of private contractors working for the company which will accelerate the creeping privatisation of this public utility.”

“Our members are intent on protecting and developing the public water service which they have provided for decades to the highest standard that funding has allowed.”

Siptu said the ballot, which commenced on Monday , would be counted on Friday, November 20th.