SIPTU has stated that it will resist a plan by the management of Irish Water to implement 1,200 redundancies at the State owned company as it is a clear move towards its future privatisation and an unacceptable breach of agreements on the operation of the utility. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Our union will vigorously resist any attempt by the management of Irish Water to reduce the number of workers providing this essential service. These workers are essential to the maintenance and the development of public water services. “The company has not explained who would carry out the essential work of any employees made redundant. 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: “This plan is in direct contravention of a Service Level Agreement between unions and management on the future provision of water services in Ireland. SIPTU will now commence a series of consultative meetings with our members providing water services throughout the country in advance of conducting a ballot for industrial action. SIPTU members are demanding a strong and unequivocal commitment from Irish Water that it intends to fully honour the terms of the Service Level Agreement. “We are also seeking an urgent meeting with the management of Irish Water. At this meeting we will be informing the company that we will strongly resist any unilateral attempt to reduce the numbers of public sector workers delivering water services and our members will take industrial action, if necessary, to defend that position.”