The lunchtime protest will take place between 12.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. outside the main entrance of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services on James Street.

SIPTU Organiser, Aideen Carberry, said: “SIPTU members in catering and household departments of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services voted unanimously for industrial action up to, and including strike action, in a ballot counted on Tuesday (4th February).

“The vote for industrial action is a result of the employer’s unilateral decision to outsource the two services to private companies. The dispute involves over one hundred employees. Our members feel betrayed by their employer. They have given loyal service to the company and the service users in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services over many years.”

She added: “The management of St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services has made no attempt to engage with their employees or their union representatives concerning alternatives to the outsourcing of the services. Our members are of the view that this outsourcing will have a detrimental impact services in the hospital. It is extraordinary that a well-renowned mental health provider would take such action that is causing such anguish amongst its staff.”