The Eastern Health Board has asked the Labour Relations Commission to intervene to try to resolve the dispute over the provision of services at the refugee application centre. The Commission will invite both sides for talks tomorrow following the break-down of negotiations last week.

IMPACT workers at the centre earlier decided to continue to provide services to asylum seekers. However they have decided to restrict the amount of outreach which would be undertaken by employees. They are awaiting a response from management to concerns they have over safety issues.

IMPACT claims the Refugee Application Centre, off Mount Street in central Dublin, is unsafe on account of the increased volume of asylum seekers coming into the country. The trade union says it's sixteen members have responded to this impossible situation by voting to restrict the amount of outreach work they undertake.

The Eastern Health Board, which manages the centre, says it regrets the decision and is concerned at the consequences of the unilateral action. The Board argues that it is in the process of employing extra staff and providing an extra building to alleviate the difficulties posed by the increase in the number of people seeking asylum.

Meanwhile, the Government has said that asylum seekers will not be able to avail of, or apply for, thousands of work visas which are due to become available next year. A Government spokesman said the priority was to speed up their adjudication system. Legislation is due to be brought before the Dáil next month which it is anticipated will result 5,000 workers from non-EU countries being allowed into the State by the end of next year.