ESB Network Technicians with the Independent Workers Union (IWU) are back out on strike today at several sites in Donegal.
The industrial action has been deemed as ‘unlawful’ by ESB Networks, who do not recognise the IWU and refuse to engage with it.
ESB Networks has said it has formally issued proceedings in the High Court against the union seeking damages and other reliefs arising from industrial action at the company over the last week or so.
Network technicians, represented by the IWU, are staging a second 24-hour strike today, Thursday, following a strike last Friday. Staff are engaging in work-to-rule action and are planning a two-day strike next week over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.
The dispute, according to the IWU, centres on ESB Networks management’s failure to consult adequately on outsourcing of work to external contractors.
ESB Networks said it “remains very concerned at the IWU’s industrial action.”
The company said that there has been limited impact to electricity customers as a result of the industrial action to date and contingency planning continues for today and beyond.
“We again call on the IWU to desist from further action,” the company said.
“ESB Networks acknowledges the strong support provided by our staff who are members of the affiliated trade unions.
“ESB Networks has a well-established industrial relations structure. These arrangements have served ESB Networks, our employees and customers well over those years. They have enabled a stable industrial relations environment in which ESB Networks has progressed change and built out critical national infrastructure. ESB Networks seeks to protect these arrangements.”
County Councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, who is in support of the strike, said he will be bringing a motion on the dispute to the next Glenties Municipal District meeting.
“It is crucial that the right of trade unions to represent their members is understood as essential in a democratic society,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.