Work-to-rule may have affected 1,000 Dublin customers, ESB says

Company says duration of Santry power cut may have been longer due to industrial action

Technicians belonging to the Independent Workers’ Union on strike outside the ESB South Lotts depot in Dublin: Power services were out from Saturday night to Sunday lunchtime in Santry due to fault. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Technicians belonging to the Independent Workers’ Union on strike outside the ESB South Lotts depot in Dublin: Power services were out from Saturday night to Sunday lunchtime in Santry due to fault. Photograph: Laura Hutton

 

About 1,000 electricity customers on the north side of Dublin may have been left without power for longer at the weekend than would otherwise have been the case as a result of an ongoing work-to-rule by technicians, ESB Networks has said.

ESB Networks said on Tuesday that a technical fault occurred in its medium-voltage network on Saturday night in the Santry area in Dublin, which affected about 1,000 customers.

It said the fault would have left the customers concerned without power overnight regardless of the industrial action.

However, the company said that while its crews mobilised and power was restored by lunchtime on Sunday, the duration of the outage may have been longer than would have otherwise been the case as a result of the work-to-rule which is in place.

ESB Networks said it apologised to customers affected by this fault at the weekend.

The company described the impact of industrial action and the work-to-rule by technicians overall on its services as “limited”.

The network technicians involved in the current dispute are members of the Independent Workers’ Union (IWU).

The union said that about 500 members were involved in a strike last Friday.

A work-to-rule has been under way by members of the IWU since last week.

Further strikes

Further strikes by network technicians are scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday .

The IWU has said the current dispute is not about money.

The union said last week that it centred on “the failure of the employer to partake in any meaningful discussions in relation to the continued outsourcing of our members’ work to outside third parties – the continued privatisation of the ESB”.

ESB Networks has maintained that the strike by the IWU was “unlawful”.

The company said it intended to take legal action.

However, no detail has emerged of any planned legal action by the company.

ESB Networks does not recognise the IWU as a representative organisation for the network technician grades in the company. The IWU is not part of the group of unions in the company.