Bank of Ireland IT staff are to stage a 24-hour walk out in protest at plans to outsource jobs to Hewlett Packard.
The strike action follows the break-down of last-minute talks between bank management and union representatives over job security and the protection of workers' rights under a proposed seven-year IT outsourcing deal with HP.
The contract - agreed in April - calls for the transfer of 500 IT staff to HP. The strike has been called by the Irish Bank Officials Association, which has been lobbying for seven-year contracts for staff with the option of redeployment with the bank after two years.
The walk-out, scheduled to begin at midnight Thursday, could lead to a frustrating day for customers of the Irish bank, with limited IT staff available to deal with branch-based processing problems or ATM failures.
Failure to resolve the deadlock could result in an escalation of industrial action and longer stoppages, as the union is no longer obliged to re-ballot its members.
The union says that is has also been advised by Bank of Ireland management that it intends to outsource part of the inhouse telco operation to either Eircom or ESAT.