Households in eights local authorities could find their water supply is disrupted today due to strike action.
Members of the Unite trade union want to be assured that staff transferred from local authority employment to Uisce Éireann will retain their public service status.
Unite Trade Union Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald described today’s strike as “regrettable” but said they would return to work in an emergency.
“Of course, our members who are involved in the industrial action live in those communities and they’ll be impacted by this,” he said.
“We hope that it’ll be limited, we have an agreement with the various local authorities that for essential and emergency work, our members will come off the picket line and support that work.”
The Local Government Management Agency warned the strike would likely have a “significant impact on the public” and urged Unite to reconsider taking industrial action.
“I find the actions of Unite unnecessary and unreasonable, relative to the impact on ordinary citizens, and on other workers who are being asked to lose wages at a time of cost-of-living pressure when you have been invited to engage on numerous occasions with your fellow unions,” LGMA Head of Communications Brigid Fitzgerald said in an open letter to Mr Fitzgerald.
“While I absolutely accept the right of workers to withdraw labour where there are legitimate concerns for the terms and conditions of employment, this is simply not the case in the current Unite dispute.”
The impacted areas are:
- Carlow County Council
- Cork City Council
- Cork County Council
- Fingal County Council
- Kerry County Council
- South Dublin County Council
- Tipperary County Council
- Waterford County Council
The strike is due to last three days.
Main image: Tap water. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB