Belfast Telegraph

Union urges members to join anti-water charges protest

Ireland's largest craft trade union has joined the anti-water charges movement Right2Water.

The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU), which represents 40,000 workers, is urging its members to join a national demonstration on Saturday.

Eamon Devoy, general secretary of the union, has also called on the Government to abolish water charges with immediate effect.

"We have decided to join the Right2Water campaign to better highlight the issues of concern to our members," he said.

"The call for a referendum to secure the consolidation of Irish Water in public ownership will secure the jobs of thousands of workers already providing essential maintenance and repair programmes to Irish Water through service level agreements from local authorities throughout the country.

"By withdrawing the water charge and holding a referendum the Government will clear the way for a considered debate on how best to carry out a badly needed overhaul of water services, while having regard for the environmental issues involved and the EU laws governing the delivery and protection of water as our most precious and essential commodity."

The TEEU's executive voted to join Unite, Mandate, the Communications Workers Union, the Civil Public and Services Union and Opatsi, the plasterers' union, in the Right2Water campaign.

The umbrella group of unions and left-leaning political parties said it expects a large turnout at a demonstration at the GPO on Dublin's O'Connell Street on Saturday.

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