SIPTU says local authorities have failed to warn public on pending water and retained fire service disputes.

SIPTU members who work for local authorities in water services and in the Retained Fire Service have called on their employers to ensure that the public is prepared for any disruption caused by industrial and action due to commence next week.

Liberty (@SIPTU)
2 min readJun 1, 2023

Local authority workers providing water services across the country are to commence a 2-day strike on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th June. SIPTU members in the Retained Fire Service will commence their industrial action on Tuesday 6th June. These disputes will cause significant disruption to the provision of water and fire services in every town and county, the union has warned.

Karan O Loughlin, SIPTU Divisional Organiser, said: “The lack of preparation by the local authorities for this dispute is shocking and irresponsible. Our members in the retained fire service and in water services are reporting that, in most counties, management has no specific contingency plans in place and are not undertaking any public information campaigns. Local authorities have a responsibility to advise the public that there will be disruption to the fire and water services but have not done so. The 2-day strike in the water services will mean that boil water notices may be necessary and that, in some areas, business and domestic users may have no water for periods of time. On the week commencing 13th June, 50% of the retained fire service will be on rolling work stoppages.

“Our members are striking to get the local authorities to implement what has already been agreed nationally including to ensure that workers in water services will not lose money if they choose not to transfer to Uisce Éireann. Retained fire fighters are striking to ensure that the Government’s report on the future of the service will be implemented to resolve the recruitment and retention crisis that threatens to collapse this essential and life-saving community resource. Our local authority members in water and retained fire services have adopted an eminently reasonable position and it is up to management of the local authorities to inform the public about the consequences of the industrial action for which they are largely responsible.”

Brendan O’ Brien, SIPTU Sector Organiser added: “SIPTU members in water services and the retained fire service are serious and will strike until the local authorities come to their senses, re-establish their credibility and implement what they have already agreed. Strike committees are organised in every county across the country. Consequently, more industrial action and strike days can be expected if these matters are not resolved to the satisfaction of our members.

Pictured: SIPTU protest against water privatisation at Dáil in 2013