An emergency meeting of Unite members of Waterford County Council (including workers from Dungarvan Town Council) was called late yesterday evening after it emerged that two colleagues were suspended yesterday afternoon following difficulties with the implementation of restructuring measures which are regarded by staff as a threat to job security. Four more staff were rumoured to have been suspended this morning.
Up to 158 workers are present this afternoon outside the Dungarvan Administrative Offices of County Waterford.
120 Unite members from many County Waterford locations met in Lawlor's Hotel Monday night at short notice and a vote was unanimously carried for action today in Dungarvan after the two men who had refused to be relocated as part of the program concerning Irish Water were asked to go home and suspended without pay.
The major concerns of the workers rotate around the withdrawal of a letter, late last week, by the Council discussing possible guarantees that any employees who found themselves surplus to Irish Water's requirements were to be reinstated to their previous employment within the Council. More than one worker expresed concern that Irish Water would be privatised and an immediate streamlining would then occur.
These fears have been exasperated by a similar model that has acted out in Scotland recently resulting in a loss of Council jobs estimated to be at almost 25 per cent.
A steward for the Union reiterated that they would return to work the minute the suspended employees were reinstated, and that they were open to talks with management on the matter.
- The average Scottish Water Rates are 388 euro per annum
- Scottish Councils were recently found to have paid over 1.3 million pounds for bottled water for their staff members in the last three years.