Workers at 999 call centre to go on strike tomorrow

Another two centres are expected to operate as normal

999, responders, toilet breaks, living wage, industrial action, CWU

An emergency call being made on an iPhone mobile phone | Image: Ian West / PA Archive/PA Images

Updated 18.45:

Operators at one of the country's three 999 call centres are to strike tomorrow in a row with management at the company.

Staff in Navan in Co Meath will hold a 12-hour stoppage from 8.00am to 8.00pm in what they say is a row over toilet breaks.

The other centres in Dublin and Ballyshannon are expected to operate as normal.

Ahead of tomorrows strike, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) says management at BT/Conduit have responded to the industrial action by 'love bombing' workers with one-to-one chats and group therapy - while at the same time refusing to addresses their claims.

999 call centres in Dublin and Ballyshannon are expected to operate as normal.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says the operation of these two offices will ensure no vital emergency calls are missed.

CWU General-Secretary, Steve Fitzpatrick, said: "The CWU has been clear from the outset that we remain open to talks with BT/Conduit to address our members’ demands including their right to dignity and respect at their workplace".

"BT/Conduit have responded with a calculated and insincere love bombing of their workers with loads of one-to-one chats and group therapy but absolutely nothing that addresses the claims at the heart of this dispute. Regrettably, the work stoppage will go ahead this Thursday"

"Unsurprisingly, the companies that brought us the toilet break policy seem to be incapable of comprehending demands for basic respect, a living wage and the freedom of workers to choose who should represent them", he added.

In a media statement, Conduit Global says "[We are]very disappointed that despite the significant progress the company has made with ongoing employee engagement over the past few weeks, the union continues to plan strike action.  Facts have been widely reported that rebut the union’s claims and these include that staff’s average pay are already above Living Wage; suspension and leave policy has been changed and the ‘time off the phones policy’ revoked and we have listened to staff to create a new on-call schedule.  Elections of staff representatives took place last week and were welcomed by the staff. The union, whose membership in our company is unknown, does not seem to be up-to-date on the changes within our company and the positive feedback received from employees.”