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ESB Network technicians in Carlow and Kilkenny among those to begin two-day strike

It's as a statement from the utility says We are working towards mitigating any impact on customers for the duration of the upcoming strike action 

ESB Network technicians in Carlow and KIlkenny are striking from today.

They’re among more than 500 across the country beginning a two-day strike in an escalation of industrial action which started as a work-to-rule with depots picketed last week, including locally.

The Independent Workers Union says its members want to be consulted properly about outsourcing.

The ESB insists any outages caused by rough weather over the weekend have been repaired as quickly as normal.

Chair of the IWU strike committee, technician Brian Baitson, has been telling KCLR News “The ESB have never actually come to us to ask us to provide emergency cover but we are more than willing to provide emergency cover but we don’t know what they want unless they come and ask us and if they don’t want to deal with us directly we will deal with them through the WRC, we’re open to consultation with the ESB at any time today, tomorrow, whatever day suits them we’re available to consult on providing emergency cover”.

Meanwhile, the ESB issued the following statement last evening:

“Network Technicians who are members of the Independent Workers Union (IWU) have been engaged in unnecessary industrial action in the form of a work-to-rule since Monday 19 April.  This escalated into separate 24-hour strikes on Friday 23 April and Thursday 29 April. We are aware of a 48-hour strike expected to commence tomorrow Tuesday at 8am through to Thursday at 8am.

ESB Networks confirms that there has been limited impact to electricity customers as a result of the industrial action to date and contingency planning continues for the next 48 hours and beyond.

ESB Networks remains concerned that the IWU has not co-operated with Emergency Cover since the action began on 19 April. This is unprecedented in ESB’s experience. ESB Networks once again acknowledges the strong support provided by our staff who are members of the affiliated trade unions.

We are working towards mitigating any impact on customers for the duration of the upcoming strike action.

Real-time updates on electricity faults are available on www.powercheck.ie and we apologise for any inconvenience to customers should it occur.

We again call on the IWU to desist from further action at this time of national need.”