WRC called to intervene in dispute with Cork fire brigade

Industrial action proposed by Cork City Fire Brigade has been suspended following Cork City Council’s appeal to the Workplace Relations Commission to intervene in an ongoing dispute.

Last month, firefighters voted for industrial action due to staffing concerns and a lack of resources following the closure of Ballincollig Fire Station.

Earlier this week plans to picket City Hall this Friday were announced by firefighters.

In a statement this afternoon, Cork City Council expressed ‘serious concerns’ about the proposed industrial action, saying the Cork City and Surroundings Fire Service is ‘a key priority “.

The local authority said it has now contacted the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and sought the services of the Industrial Tribunal to try to resolve the ongoing dispute with members of the Cork City Fire Brigade .

“The Board has made considerable efforts both locally and under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Board over an extended period of time to resolve the dispute.

“Council today contacted the WRC and asked the Employment Tribunal services to assist in resolving the matter.”

Billy Crowley, union representative and firefighter for Cork City Fire Brigade, SIPTU, welcomed the decision.

“We are delighted with the change of mind of the Council. The reasons for the vote for industrial action and the strike and the reason why we started the industrial action on Friday morning was because the Council would not go to the tribunal of the work.”

He said SIPTU had been in contact with the WRC to let them know they were available “at any time to come to Court”.

Mr Crowley said they hoped it would be “as soon as possible”.

With Ballincollig station currently closed, Cork City Fire Brigade operates two stations in the city – at Anglesea Street and Ballyvolane, employing 130 firefighters.