Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) has warned ESB/Electric Ireland that the Irish retail industry will 'withdraw all support' for the company in the New Year should a threatened strike proceed next month.
The ESB Group of Unions decided last Friday to serve strike action on the company, over a €1.7 billion shortfall in the State-owned company's retirement fund. It is feared that strike action could lead to power cuts from December 16th, a crucial period for retail.
"Should strike action proceed, the retail industry will withdraw all support for the State company in the New Year and specifically REI will intervene to assist retail industry businesses to switch to more market focused energy providers," said David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland.
"What the last week has taught us is that ESB/Electric Ireland, the union and staff have no understanding of the real world and the harsh economy we live in today. Trading over the Christmas period will determine whether businesses survive or cease to trade. A company which demonstrates such a culture of ignorance and opulence is one which should not be supported."
REI called on Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte to prevent the company from "holding the country to ransom. A precedent has already been set preventing the Gardai from strike action and a similar legislative intervention is required to stop this assault on the Irish State."
Commenting on the proposed strike action, Arthur Hall, general secretary of the TEEU, told the Irish Times last Friday: "“Obviously we are all hoping industrial action can be avoided - no one wants industrial action in this day and age. But there’s a lot of time for people to be smart about this."
The ESB Group of Unions is due to meet with government representatives to discuss the issue.
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones