999 call centre employees vote in favour of industrial action
Workers at Ireland's 999 call centre have voted in favour of industrial action.
Members of the Communications Workers' Union have said they have been campaigning for dignity and respect in the workplace for the past 18 months.
They are calling on their employer to instigate a living wage of 11.50 an-hour, a fair on call policy and an end to what the union calls punitive suspensions.
A meeting will take place this evening to decide what form of action they will now engage in.
Steve Fitzpatrick, CWU general secretary, said: “I want to commend our members for taking this brave decision.
“For the first time, Conduit/BT appears to be taking the concerns of their workers seriously. This is only happening as a direct result of the ballot for industrial action.
“However, the company is still refusing to concede on any of the key issues at the heart of this dispute. If the Conduit bosses want to avoid a strike they need to address the four legitimate requests our members have made.”
Conduit Global have expressed their disappointment with the decision for industrial action taken by CWU members.
"Our senior management team opened direct dialogue with our staff and is making significant progress on all issues raised. To date, Conduit Global, in consultation with our staff, has reviewed internal policies, analysed staff feedback and committed to change.
"We’ve also proposed an interim change to the on-call policy seeking input and feedback from staff and can confirm that staff, when all aspects of the remuneration are considered, earn in excess of the living wage being sought by the CWU.
"It seems, therefore, that the CWU is seeking to disrupt this critical, public service in an attempt to get Collective Bargaining recognition, which we find very disappointing and self-serving.
"Conduit Global remains committed to deliver this vital public service and will continue to work with our staff directly to avoid any unnecessary disruption to the Emergency Call Answering Service.”
Update 10.50pm: Commenting this evening following a meeting of 999 call service workers in Navan, Ian McArdle of the CWU said: “At this evening’s meeting of the CWU Branch representing 999 Emergency Call Service (ECAS) workers, members welcomed the clear result of the ballot on industrial action where over 84% of votes were cast in favour of action up to and including an all-out strike.
"The meeting mandated the Union to proceed to issue notice of industrial action on BT/Conduit. At the meeting, members considered options for industrial action which are likely to include a 12 hour work stoppage over the next few weeks.
"The workers and their Union remain open to dialogue with BT/Conduit in order to resolve the issues at the heart of this dispute.”