Warning comes following leaked internal Irish Water documents suggesting 1,200 job losses
People Before Profit have warned against looming plans within Irish Water to cut jobs and implement ‘efficiencies’ and cost savings of €1.1bn which would include a reduction in staffing levels of 1,200-1,500 in the period 2014-2021.
The leaked report cites the example of Scottish Water which imposed a reduction in operating cost of 40% over a number of years.
People Before Profit say that these measures would appear to be paving the way for the privatisation of Irish Water.
Cllr Bríd Smith of People Before Profit said: “It would appear from the internal documents that I received that there is a move coming in Irish Water to streamline the state owned company. This would involve making some 1,200 staff redundant. Some of these workers are vital to the operation of our water system in this country. Like for example the guys that locate the leaks. These people have between them hundreds of years of experience that can only be attained from years of service. There is no one else in the city with this valuable experience.
“The company feel that they can usurp the Service Level Agreement (SLA) on the future of water services in this country. Already there are approximately 150 vacancies in Irish Water. It would appear that the company are trying to get rid of the council workers. This would further allow for privatisation of Irish Water.
“Since its inception Irish Water has been wasting money left right and centre, for example the €80 million spent on consultants. It is a scandal that they would allow for making employees redundant whilst at the same time throwing away vast amounts of money on things like metering, the false conservation grant and billing.
“I am calling on Irish Water to fully comply with the provisions in the current Service Level Agreement. I condemn Irish Water for attempting to sacrifice its workers in the name of obvious privatisation. If unions organise opposition to changes in the SLA they should be fully supported by the Right2Water movement and communities that are against water charges and the privatisation of this public service.”