SIPTU water workers in Limerick Cork, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and Fingal vote for strike action

As SIPTU members in the water services ballot around the country to protect earnings for workers not transferring to isce Eireann but remaining in their local authorities, early results from Limerick, Cork, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and Fingal confirm huge support for strike action.

Karan O Loughlin, Divisional Organiser for SIPTU’s Public Administration and Community Division said: “There is a high level of frustration among our members in water services at the lack of commitment from the various local authorities as to how the value of earnings will be retained once Uisce Eireann assume responsibility for the provision of water services nationally. 

“The framework agreement clearly states that terms and conditions are to be retained, but when we tested the meaning of that with the local authorities, it was clear that while core terms and conditions would be protected, the commitment on the retention of the value of earnings was not there. This is a key part of enabling the successful transfer to Uisce Eireann and without it, the transfer just won’t happen.”

Brendan O Brien, SIPTU Sector Organiser for the Local Authority Sector, said: “The high level of support for strike among the members balloted demonstrates that they are extremely concerned at the financial hit they will take if the principle of no loss of income is not retained after this change. 

“Significant amounts of money could be lost from wages as a result of the political decision taken by the Government which neither SIPTU nor water workers can influence. There will be significant disruption to water services, both domestic and for business, if the necessary commitments are not clearly spelled out.”

The ballot will run until May 4th with more results to be declared as it concludes in each local authority area.