Water utility workers threaten strike


Connect union members working in water utilities have voted overwhelmingly in favor of industrial action if the government fails to meet commitments made to their terms and conditions of employment.

A ballot of members employed in local government water services, which was counted last night, resulted in a majority of more than 96 per cent in favor of industrial action if commitments made by the government are not met. fully implemented.

The union says the commitments include full protection of workers’ employment conditions if they transfer to a single national water utility or another department within a local authority.

The result of the ballot was announced today on the opening day of Connect’s biennial delegates conference in Co Wexford

Earlier this year talks took place between unions representing water utility workers, local authorities, Irish Water and officials from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

A framework document was produced in June after an agreement was reached on the transfer of local authority water service staff to Irish Water.

“Connect members affected by the transfer of water services from local authorities have demanded that a ballot be held to prepare the union for immediate industrial action should any attempt by any party to reverse the commitments from the process of talks,” Paddy said. Kavanagh, general secretary of Connect.

Also at today’s conference, Connect is calling on the government to set up a semi-state company with its own workforce to implement its program to renovate private housing and public buildings.

With over 40,000 members, the Connect union is the largest trades organization in the country, representing workers in the technical, engineering, electrical and construction sectors.

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