Superquinn founder Senator Feargal Quinn is putting a Bill before the Seanad next week that will seek to outlaw disruption to essential utilities such as electricity and water.
The Critical Utilities (Security of Supply) Bill would make it an offence to “for a person to induce another to cause an interruption to the supply of a critical utility." The timing of the proposed bill is notable, as it comes amid threats of strike action by ESB workers in the run up to Christmas.
Quinn added that the Bill is not designed to outlaw the right of employees to protest, rather to secure essential services during periods of industrial action, in the same way that Garda and hospital services are secured.
“The intent behind the Bill is to ensure, in a proportionate and least intrusive way, that any such action does not interfere with the continued supply of critical utilities," he said.
However the government has already made its position clear - it will oppose the bill on the grounds that “applying the criminal law to this purpose would be counterproductive," according to Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte.
Previously, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) 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.
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones