Northern Ireland

NI Water: Workers begin industrial action over pension dispute

tap pouring water
Image caption NI Water staff will continue to provide emergency cover but will withdraw on-call, standby and overtime services

More than 1,000 NI Water workers have begun industrial action in response to a pensions dispute.

Last week, talks between unions and management from NI Water failed to reach agreement.

Members of Nipsa, Unite and the GMB voted for a work-to-rule and withdrawal of on-call services and overtime, from Monday.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has warned this could cause "abject misery" to households.

The Labour Relations Agency has been called in to try to broker an 11th-hour resolution to the row.

Joanne McWilliams, from Unite, said all three unions were prepared to continue with further talks.

"All three unions are willing to continue with negotiations in order to attempt to find a solution and avoid disruption to communities," she said.

"We have set out our position to both the minister and NI Water, but unless the pension proposals are taken off the table, our members have no alternative but to commence action."

NI Water's chief executive Sara Venning warned customers they may experience interruptions to supply over Christmas because of the industrial action.

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