Cork council workers vote for strike

Repairs to roads and local authority housing could soon grind to a halt after Siptu members of Cork County Council voted overwhelmingly for strike action.

They voted by three to one in favour of strike action, having become increasingly frustrated by what they say is county council management’s refusal to recruit more workers.

In a second ballot, also counted in Connolly Hall, Cork yesterday, Siptu members also voted by more than four to one in favour of industrial action.

“There was a massive turnout for this ballot, which has resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of action in this long-running dispute.

“Over many months there has been no progress at all in management moving to engage with the workforce planning process and start employing more staff,” Siptu organiser Con Casey said.

He said management’s stance had resulted in a situation where key sections of the council which deal with road maintenance and other essential services are now seriously undermanned.

“This is due to management failing to replace workers as they retire,” he said.

“The running-down of the ability of the council to adequately provide services would unfortunately seem to be part of an agenda to increase the outsourcing of work to private for-profit companies,” Mr Casey claimed.

“This move towards outsourcing by Cork County Council management is being pursued in contravention to national agreements.

“These agreements assert that the high standards of council services should be preserved by maintaining their delivery by directly employed council staff,” he added.

County councillors have also expressed concerns recently about manning levels at the local authority.

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