News : 999 Call-centre Staff to Ballot on Action in Toilet-breaks Row
Dublin, Ireland, Jan 29, 2016 -- Staff at the 999 call centre are to vote on industrial action over the company's stance on toilet breaks, and other issues.
The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has delivered ballot papers to members, saying they had asked their employer Conduit Global several times for a meeting to discuss a range of issues.
Last week Conduit issued a new policy restricting toilet breaks to a total of 19 minutes in a 12-hour shift. Staff are required to report to management before and after the toilet breaks, the union says.
The CWU said that if staff exceed their toilet-break allowance, they face disciplinary action.
Staff have described the policy as insulting, and are considering industrial action.
CWU general secretary Steve Fitzpatrick said: "It is not acceptable to the CWU that staff working on a state-funded contract and providing a vital emergency service to the public have been left with no alternative to achieve basic dignity and respect at their workplace other than to ballot for industrial action.
"Conduit/BT need to realise that the treatment being meted out to their workers will no longer be tolerated."
Other issues the union says are at stake include:
A Living Wage of €11.50 per hour;
An end to "unnecessary and punitive" suspensions, and the negotiation of a new corrective action policy;
A fair on-call policy;
Workers entitlements to collective bargaining through their union.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, February 1, 2016