SIPTU members working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs in county Laois and county Offaly today (Monday, 6th December) began a campaign of work stoppages in a dispute resulting from the privatisation of this community service. The industrial action was supported by a protest by SIPTU members outside the Department of Social Protection in Store Street, Dublin 1.   SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “Our members received huge support from the public and from the people who use their services today in Birr, Portarlington, Tullamore and Dublin.    “Our members in these towns will continue their industrial action with a further work stoppage tomorrow. Due to the weather warnings issued tonight by Met Éireann a planned action in Dublin tomorrow has been stood down.    “It is our intention to keep the pressure on and escalate our actions until the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, sees sense and stops the proposed destruction of these essential local employment schemes.”   He added: “The reality is our members employed in the LES and Job Clubs, as well as the people who use these services, will ultimately pay the price for the privatisation model proposed by the Government. The Minister needs to realise that our members’ resolve is strong and they will see their campaign to stop the privatisation of these services across the country through to its success .    “We are again calling on the Taoiseach to intervene and invite stakeholders to establish a forum to discuss a fair way forward.”