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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019
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Up to 6,500 homes left without water

Workers with NI Water are currently involved in a dispute over pensions.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

TRADE UNION ACTION in Northern Ireland has left as many as 6,500 homes without a water supply.

Workers for NI Water have been taking the action over a dispute relating to pensions.

Work-to-rule action has been taking place since 22 December and has included the withdrawal of on-call services and overtime.

Good-will protocol 

The situation has worsened over the past week due to the removal of good-will protocol that had been in place over the Christmas period.

The unions had agreed to deal with situations as they arose in the interest of public safety.

Activity at wastewater treatment works is scheduled to begin again this morning with the company hoping full activity will be resumed “as quickly as possible”.

The unions involved in the action are Nipsa, Unite and GMB.

NI Water 

NI Water are operating a postcode search via their website to allow customers to check how their water will be affected.

This service also allows customers to check for their nearest alternative water supplies – which consists of collectible water stores in large plastic tanks.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the company said that negotiations are ongoing and they hope the situation will be resolved as quickly as possible.

In a statement yesterday evening, the company said, “NI Water fully recognises this is a frustrating experience for our customers, and can assure them we are doing everything possible to restore water supplies.”

It goes on to state that, while it is doing everything within its power to address the problem, dealing with 26,000 km of watermains, 15,000 km of sewers and thousands of pumping stations and treatment works made it “virtually inevitable there will be interruptions to services to our customers.”

Affected areas 

The disturbances have been mostly focused on the Derry and Tyrone areas. Areas that may be included in this are:

Ederney, Kesh, Lack, Castlederg, Killen, Killeter, Spamount, Irvinestown, Dromore (Tyrone), Drumquin, Omagh (rural) and Trillick.

Greencastle, Mountfield, Sixmilecross, Carrickmore, Glenhull, Loughmacrory, Rousky, Beragh, Garvaghy, Eskragh, Seskinore, Claudy, Dungiven, Feeny, Gortnahey and Park.

Read: Archbishop criticises NI Minister over proposal on abortion for rape victims

Also: And here’s the Northern Irish short film in contention at the Oscars

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