Ireland: Alliance to defend public ownership of water

09 November 2012
Irish trade union representatives have formed an alliance to defend public ownership of water services in Ireland.

Trade unions representing over 3000 workers have pledged to oppose attempts by the Government to expand the use of private contractors in the new body, Irish Water, at the expense of the public service and direct labour workforce.

“Maintaining our water infrastructure in public ownership is of major importance for future generations. It is essential that we ensure that this asset is maintained under democratic control and not allowed to fall into the hands of those who would wish to exploit this resource for private profit at the expense of the public interest," said Jack O'Connor, president of Services industrial professonal and technical union (SIPTU).

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Michael Wall, said: “The alliance will focus on the role of staff in the new company and highlighting the consequences for the country if the process of privatisation of water services is continued.

"The unions will develop a joint policy and actions across the country as the efforts to reduce public ownership of water services is rolled out."

The unions involved in the new alliance are SIPTU, UNITE and the TEEU.

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