SIPTU local authority members providing services for Irish Water began balloting for industrial action yesterday (Monday, 9th November) in a dispute related to an attempt by management to unilaterally cut the numbers of frontline water workers. The decision to ballot for industrial action results from an announcement by management that it intends to break a service level agreement and enforce up to 1,500 job losses among frontline water service workers.SIPTU Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “The company has not explained who would carry out essential work if these jobs are lost. It can only be deduced that the plan is to expand the number of private contractors working for the company which will accelerate the creeping privatisation of this public utility.”He added: “Our members are intent on protecting and developing the public water service which they have provided for decades to the highest standard that funding has allowed.”The ballot is scheduled to be counted on Friday, 20th November.