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20/09/2021

Donegal councillor stands in solidarity with ESB workers


Issue to be raised at next Glenties MD meeting

Donegal councillor stands in solidarity with  ESB workers

Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig (right) on the picket line with the ESB workers

Independent republican socialist councillor, Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig, joined striking ESB workers on the picket line yesterday at Na Crois Bhealaí (Falcarragh).

This one-day strike follows a work to rule that began on April 19.

This will be followed by a two-day strike next week on Tuesday and Wednesday.

An Independent Workers Union (IWU) spokesperson and chairperson of the strike committee Brian Baitson said the dispute is about a lack of consultation over the outsourcing of work.

The IWU claims to represent a third of ESB Networks' technicians.

However, the ESB said it does not recognise the IWU.

It said in a statement it said it is “very concerned” at action taken by members of the IWU and urged the union to call off strikes planned for this week and next.

It also claimed the impact of the action on customers so far has been “limited”.

But Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig is worried that the ESB has another agenda in mind.

"This is a battle against the attempt by the State to privatise a very successful State company," he said.

He revealed he is going to table a motion at the next meeting of Glenties Municipal District on the issue.

It will read: "This Council calls upon the ESB to sit down immediately and speak with its striking Network Technicians affiliated to the Independent Workers Union.

"It is unconscionable and disgraceful that a nationalised company owned by the people of this country would threaten legal action against a group of workers rather than engage with them around the table.

"It is crucial that the right of trade unions to represent their members is understood as essential in a democratic society."

 

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