Union leaders meet after ESB staff vote for industrial action

Union leaders meet after ESB staff vote for industrial action

A meeting of union leaders at ESB is taking place this afternoon to decide on their strategy after staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The meeting is due to finish within the next hour and could give a clearer picture on whether or not strike action will take place.

The Government, meanwhile, is appealing for unions and management to come to an agreement and remove the threat of power cuts in the run-up to Christmas.

The 26 representatives of the five unions at ESB are still holed-up in a Dublin city centre hotel - where they are discussing how to proceed after almost 90% of their members voted for strike-action.

The dispute - which is leaving the threat of power-cuts hanging over the country in the run-up to Christmas - is focused on a €1.6bn hole in the ESB's pension fund.

Unions have said management switched the scheme from a guaranteed defined benefit scheme - to a defined contribution scheme - which places all the risk on staff.

The union leaders are expected to decide when to serve notice of industrial action -and whether to accept an invitation to talks with management.

The Government, meanwhile, is appealing for for restraint from union leaders.

It says that it is very concerned about the impact a strike would have on electricity supply during winter on the elderly and the wider public - as well as on business owners in the run-up to the Christmas period.


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