Kelly accused of using Irish Water workers as a bargaining chip

The union of workers says politicians are "playing politics" with employees

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Deputy Paul Murphy says that the acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly is using Irish Water workers as a bargaining chip to maintain the charges.

It comes after Mr Kelly called party leaders to meet employees at the utility before deciding its future.

"Irish Water workers are for the most part ordinary people trying to support their families and working hard in a utility that is providing an essential service to the people of Ireland", he said yesterday.

"I note that they have sought a meeting with leaders of many political parties which have not been facilitated so far".

"Their voice is an important one and I hope that the next government would be courteous enough take into account their views", he added.

However, Anti-Austerity TD Paul Murphy says that this is cynical and that these charges need to be abolished as a matter of urgency.

While the Irish Water group of unions says it would be prudent for politicians who are putting forward bills about the utility to meet workers.

Adrian Kane of SIPTU is the secretary of the group of unions at Irish Water.

He told Newstalk Lunchtime the politicians are just trying to get short-term gains.