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Government asks LRC to resolve ESB dispute and "clear up any uncertainty"

Minister Pat Rabbitte has requested that the LRC intervene as power disruptions would be “out of all proportion” to the issues involved.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER PAT RABBITTE has asked the Labour Relations Commission to intervene in the dispute at the ESB.

The Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resource has said that any power disruptions as a result of the dispute would be “out of all proportion” to the issues involved.

The ESB Group of Unions has given notice of strike action on 16 December in a dispute over the company’s pension fund. Several days of discussions between unions and management have taken place but no resolution has been found.

Education Ruairí Quinn had earlier told the Dáil that government would consider intervening in the ESB dispute if no agreement was reached.

That intervention came this evening from Rabbitte:

It is unthinkable that our economic recovery should be jeopardised, domestic consumers inconvenienced and our country’s reputation undermined by a power disruption that appears to be out of all proportion to the issues in dispute.

“I have therefore this evening requested the Labour Relations Commission to convene the parties at the earliest possible time,” he saod.

Rabitte said that he hoped that the LRC would be able to “clear up any uncertainty as early as possible”.

As yet there has been no response from either side following the Government’s request.

Read: ESB unions in public spat with management over ‘protective notice’ >

Read: Multinational companies seriously concerned over possible power outages >

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Rónán Duffy

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