ESB talks continue in bid to avoid power outages

Talks between unions and management at the ESB are continuing with the Labour Relations Commission today in an effort to avert strike action on December 16.

There is a risk of power outages across the country from that date, as staff threaten to down tools in a row over a €1.6bn deficit in the workers' pension fund.

It is understood that some multinational companies have contacted the Taoiseach this weekend, to warn him that any power cuts could cost the country jobs.

Minister Pat Rabbitte says households and businesses will only suffer limited power cuts - if the strike goes ahead:

“We need just under some 5,000 megawatts in terms of our need to keep the lights on, and factories and companies and businesses in operation,” he said.

“We would fall 12 or 13 hundred megawatts short of that depending on things like what will be generated by wind power and so on.

“So there’s a huge component now of non-ESB generated power. Obviously that would limit any outages.”

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