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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021

UNITE to ballot members on industrial action over ESB sell off

The decision follows an announcement by the government today that it would sell off a minority stake in the state-owned utility company.

THE UNION REPRESENTING most workers at ESB has said it intends to ballot members on industrial action that could include a possible strike.

UNITE said this evening it would ballot members at ESB for industrial action up to and including the withdrawal of labour over the proposed sale of the state company, which was announced  today.

Communications minister Pat Rabbitte told the Dáil that it had been agreed that a minority stake in ESB would be sold off but he said that no decision had been reached on the size of the stake that would be sold.

UNITE said this evening that as a result of this decision, members would be balloted on industrial action following a motion already passed at the biennial conference of the ESB Group of Unions in July.

Regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said: “The will of the meeting was very clear that the short term gain from a fire sale of the ESB is far outweighed by the loss of energy security, loss of dividend for the taxpayer and the loss of services such as we have seen this week in repairing the network in adverse conditions.”

The timeframe for the ballot is still to be established, a spokesperson for UNITE confirmed to TheJournal.ie this evening adding there was a “valid reason for state-ownership” of the company.

ESB has declined to comment on today’s announcement, saying the ownership of the company was “a matter for the shareholder”.

Read: Government decides to sell minority stake in ESB >

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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