January 23, 2024
BT Ireland must engage with 999 Service workers – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called on BT Ireland to engage with the Emergency Call Answering Service and their trade union, the Communication Workers Union, and attend the Workplace Relations Commission regarding workplace issues.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS), otherwise known as the 999 service, provides a vital public service and deals with life or death calls on a daily basis.

“Ensuring these workers have decent pay and conditions is paramount to guaranteeing the 999 service delivers for all who need it.

“This essential public service is provided under a State contract by BT Ireland.

“Unfortunately, despite being contracted to provide a public service, BT Ireland refuse to engage with the workers recognised trade union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), and refuse to attend hearings at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

“As a result of the failure of BT Ireland to engage with the CWU, workers balloted for industrial action.

“The ballot was passed by over 80 percent, but in an effort to avert strike action, the workers referred the matter to the WRC.

“This mature decision showed the willingness of 999 service workers and their union to resolve the issues through constructive dialogue.

“The maturity shown by the workers and the CWU has not been matched by BT Ireland, who have ignored an invite to talks at the WRC.

“The actions of BT Ireland are an affront to the industrial relations machinery of the State and could result in the disruption of the vital 999 service.

“I am calling on the government to intervene and instruct BT Ireland to engage with the workers and the CWU and attend the WRC so issues of conflict can be addressed, and strike action averted.”

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