Union rejects claims that maintenance and cleaning jobs in Dublin are at risk of privatisation

Owen Keegan told Councillors rezoning land "may be putting in jeopardy the future of direct labour service provision"

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File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

Trade union IMPACT has rejected a claim by the Dublin City Council chief executive that street cleaning and housing maintenance jobs in the city could be at risk of privatisation.

Owen Keegan has been planning to develop a 'consolidated depot' at a site at Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8 for street cleaning and road and housing maintenance.

Mr Keegan suggested existing depots were not 'fit for purpose’.

He argued that the depot plans would also allow for the 'expedition' of the development of new all weather pitches for the Liberties area and more than 10,000 square metres of new residential development.

However, The Irish Times reports that Councillors voted to rezone the land for new sports and recreational facilities for local schools and communities.

In a letter to Councillors ahead of their vote last week, Mr Keegan claimed that "by rezoning the Depot lands you may be putting in jeopardy the future of direct labour service provision by the City Council by frustrating a long overdue and much needed Depot upgrade project".

The trade union IMPACT has rejected the claim, saying "it is a nonsense" that privatisation would be the inevitable result of rezoning the land.

In a statement, IMPACT's Shane Lambert said: “Councillors expressed concern over the lack of green spaces and amenities in the Dublin 8 area, and I think it’s important to recognise the needs of the local community in any decisions about how services are developed in the area.

“No case for privatisation has been put to union, and we don't believe there is a valid case to be made. IMPACT will strongly resist any attempt to outsource or privatise council services, and it is completely unacceptable to threaten privatisation as a response to the decision by the council,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Councillor for Ballyfermot/Drimnagh described the claims as an 'outrageous threat':