Saturday 27 May 2017

999 workers to stage 12-hour strike on Thursday, carry out month of 'work to rule' action

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Emergency call workers are to stage a second day strike this coming Thursday.

The 12-hour work stoppage at the BT/Conduit Global call centre in Navan is in a bid to claim the 'living wage'.

This would mean an increase in staff wages of 50c per hour to a total of €11.50.

The Communications Workers' Union (CWU) has branded the refusal to increase the 999 call workers' wages as one of the worst examples of "blatant corporate greed".

The 12-hour work stoppage by workers in the union on Thursday will be followed by a month of industrial action which will see operators across all three 999 centres at Dublin, Navan and Ballyshannon withdraw from extra duties outside of their employment contracts.

In a statement released this afternoon, the CWU said they understand that the Workplace Relations Commission has written to Conduit Global inviting them to talks.

“Last year British Telecom made a €44 million profit in Ireland – an increase of 42pc on the previous year," CWU General Secretary Steve Fitzpatrick said.

"In 2014, Conduit Global’s profit in Ireland was more than €6 million.

"These are hugely profitable companies. Their refusal to pay their 999 workers, who deliver a vital public service, an extra 50c per hour is pathetic and miserly in the extreme.

"It can only be seen as one of the worst examples of blatant corporate greed," he

“As we have constantly stated, the CWU remains open to dialogue with the company, either directly or under the auspices of the WRC. Up to now they have refused to engage.

"It is doubly galling that Conduit Global, which enjoys the financial benefits of delivering a state-awarded contract, should display such contempt for the industrial relations machinery of the State by ignoring or declining the invitation to talks extended by the WRC.”

Conduit Global has issued a statement this evening saying that it "strongly regrets" that the CWU plans to press ahead with its proposed industrial action.

"We would like to assure members of the public that contingency plans have been put in place to ensure the safe delivery of the service from all three Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) centres across the country.

"Conduit Global has consulted repeatedly with its employees on any concerns that they have, including on pay, and significant progress has been made.

"No operator is on less than the ‘Living Wage’ and as well as the 10pc pay increase announced in November 2015, a further ‘on-call’ payment has been agreed directly with staff in the last week."

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