Prospect Trade Union members at SONI, who operate the electricity transmission system for Northern Ireland have given notice to strike.
A one-day strike at SONI will take place on 15 April for 24 hours.
The move comes after SONI staff voted strongly in favour of the action up to and including strike. Workers at the EirGrid owned company have not received an annual pay award since 2015.
There has been no breakthrough in negotiations, as SONI have failed to initiate contact with Prospect in any way. Unfortunately, SONI appear to be in complete denial.
Angela Moffatt, the Prospect Negotiations Officer representing the workers said
“SONI have refused to budge, despite a proposal from Prospect for an under inflation pay rise to be made, and arbitration over where we differ. SONI talk the talk of seeking negotiation and arbitration but then refuse it when offered.
“All of our members with the exception of minimum emergency operations cover will now initially strike for one day, but more could follow.
“We expect an impact on maintenance and operations and costs for third parties like NIE Networks too.
“We are not escalating to a blackout situation at this point. Our members will be there to deal with emergencies and ensure there’s no risk to life. We own our responsibility to the ordinary consumer and the general public, even if SONI are happy to risk that by refusing to end this dispute.
“SONI cannot expect to keep trading on that goodwill though. If they don’t try to work with us to find a solution, the industrial action will escalate further.
“Prospect are willing to engage in talks to end the dispute but with SONI failing to proactively engage with the union, increased industrial action is looking more and more likely.”