SIPTU members at Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant, Co. Dublin, began strike action today (Tuesday, 21st May) at 6.30 a.m. in response to their employer’s failure to refer a dispute relating to pay and shift premium payments to the Labour Court. The facility treats water for domestic and commercial purposes for 248,000 people living in Dublin and Wicklow. The workers voted unanimously for strike action at the plant on Thursday, 25th April. Following this vote management agreed to attend two conciliation meetings at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC). At these meetings some issues in dispute between the workers and management were addressed but no progress was made with regard to the key issues of pay and shift premium payments. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin Meere, said: “Our members were prepared to lift the strike action on referral of the outstanding issues to the Labour Court for an early hearing. Unfortunately the employers have declined to take up this offer leaving the workers with no option but to commence industrial action.” Plant worker, Jeff Jones, said: “None of us has ever been involved in an industrial dispute before. We are working a 24-hour, 52 weeks a year, shift pattern, including public holidays, for a rate applied to day workers. All we are seeking is fair pay for the hours and shifts that we work.” Workers at the plant are employed by the agency ICDS Constructors Ltd. Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant is run by SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd under the terms of a contract with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd is a joint venture between the Irish construction company, John Sisk & Son Ltd, and Spanish companies Dragados S.A. and Drace Medio-Ambiente S.A. SDD Shanganagh Water Treatment Ltd recruits, trains and directs all operations on site, and instructs ICDS to issue contracts and put the workers through the ICDS payroll.