999 call centres vote in favour of strike action

Issues include disputes over pay rates and disciplinary actions

Workers at Ireland's 999 call centres have voted in favour of strike action.

Members of the Communications Workers' Union want their employer Conduit to pay a living wage of €11.50 per hour.

They're also calling for on the an end to disciplinary actions over issues such as the length of toilet breaks.

The workers will decide their next move tonight - and Ian McCardle of the Communications Workers' Union says that could mean taking action during the current election campaign:

"I would imagine, such is the depth and strength of feeling among the staff themselves, they that will want to move on this quite quickly. [...] I would describe this as a very brave move by the staff, it's been difficult for them to take this decision."

A BT spokesperson said, “It is very disappointing that a trade union, which is not recognised by BT or Conduit, has decided to take this unnecessary course of action in relation to the vital emergency call answering service and continues to issue inaccurate statements. We are unaware of the details of the union ballot or the number of union members as we have only learned of this news from the national media."

"Conduit Global has been working closely with its employees, who handle 999 and 112 calls, to understand their issues and they have implemented significant changes as a result of that direct dialogue. BT has a robust contingency plan to operate the Emergency Call Answering Service and prioritise the protection and safety of the public first and foremost in the event of threats by this trade union."

But union spokesperson Ian McCardle says the workers have been driving the agenda: