ESB workers voted by a majority of 87.5% to 12.5% to take industrial action in a dispute arising from a €1.6 billion deficit in the pension scheme at the semi-state company. The ballot of members of the ESB Group of Unions was counted on Monday, 18th November. Among the approximately 200 SIPTU members in the ESB workforce of several thousand the vote in favour of industrial action was 97% for to 3% against. Workers oppose the company's decision to pay a dividend of €78m to the State during the summer while the pension deficit remains outstanding. They also oppose the possible payment of a special dividend of €400m to the Exchequer following the sale of some ESB assets. The management of the ESB claims that following a restructuring of the pension scheme in 2010, under which the company contributed €591m, it no longer has responsibility for the deficit.