500-strong march for Greyhound employees

by Ian Begley
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Up to 500 people marched from Liberty Hall to City Hall this week in support of the workers from Greyhound waste company in Clondalkin who are in grievances with management over wage cuts.
Greyhound workers, their families and supporters came out on the day to show their support and highlight the workers’ concerns after Greyhound Household proposed to introduce wage cuts of up to 35% as part of the company’s new terms and conditions.
Greyhound worker Joe Hall spoke to The Gazette about why he decided to take part in the strike.
He said: “It’s not something that we want to do, this is something we have to do.
“For 70 lads to show up to work on a Tuesday morning [June 17] and be told to go home if we didn’t agree to the management’s new terms is madness.
“My three children are in secondary school at the moment. How am I even supposed to pay for their school essentials if I’m being docked 35% of my wages?” he said.
Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan who attended the protest, told The Gazette that she hopes the Greyhound staff can rekindle a relationship with management.
“I hope they can rekindle a relationship, but I suppose for me I’m happy that the workers are standing strong and I’d like to call on the public to support them now because as I said before it could be their job next,” she said.
Clondalkin Cllr Eoin O Broin (SF) who also took part in the rally, said: “All the Greyhound staff and their families want is a decent wage for a decent day’s work.
“It will have an impact across the entire waste collection sector and even further and rogue employers will get a green light to cut wages and lower conditions.”
SIPTU president Jack O’Connor said in a statement that “a race to the bottom” is underway in the waste disposal industry and that the treatment of workers is appalling to a degree that would not be tolerated in any developed economy or society.
He said: “Quite apart from the issues at stake in the Greyhound dispute the overall situation in the waste management and domestic refuse collection and processing sector is deplorable.”
A spokesperson for Greyhound Household commented on the strike action, saying: “The collection crews refused to work after rejecting a Labour Court recommendation regarding legacy pay and conditions that are completely out of kilter with industry standards. This was the culmination of four months of intensive negotiations at local level; at the Labour Relations Commission and at the Labour Court.
“The fact is that productivity has increased by 25% through the deployment of agency staff with routes being completed on time, every time,” said the spokesperson.

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