SIPTU serves strike notice on Greyhound

by Ian Begley

SIPTU has served a seven-day strike notice on Greyhound Household, where workers from the company’s recycling depot in Clondalkin claim to have been “locked out” of work since 6am on June 17.
The waste disposal firm collects 110,000 household bins in the capital. Staff, who face pay cuts of up to 35%, plan to begin industrial action at 6am on Friday, June 27.
The dispute arose last week when Greyhound workers refused to use a clocking-in system that was recently put in place under new terms and conditions negotiated as part of a labour agreement.
SIPTU organiser Henry O’Shea said: “Our members have been forced into this action because of the company’s unilateral imposition of terms and conditions of employment that have not been agreed, and that contain up to 35% pay cuts.
“They also contain changes to sick pay, bonuses, meal allowances and other conditions of employment.”
SIPTU has 70 members in the company, which has a contract to collect household waste for Dublin City Council.
During an earlier protest, Greyhound worker Raymond Reilly was accidentally struck by a company truck driven by an agent driver while sitting down near the front entrance. He was taken to hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening.
Speaking to The Gazette, Reilly said he was still very shaken by the accident: “I’m very sore. I was taken off in an ambulance and nothing was broken, thankfully.
“We sent in our strike notice last week, which officially starts on Friday [June 27] and we’ve got backing from all the staff. The strike is going to cause us much hardship.
“We have no wages this week, and we’re going to have no money. People have mortgages and bills to pay, but we can’t be bullied into agreeing to these unfair pay cuts.”
A spokesperson from Greyhound Household responded to the staffs’ proposed protest, saying: “The DCC [Dublin City Council] collection crew’s action on Tuesday, June 17 was unofficial and in breach of a Labour Court recommendation.
“This recommendation was based on a report by international consultants Mazars, which provided detailed reasons why the present financial situation in the company, specifically the terms and conditions of the collection crews in DCC, was unsustainable.
“During the Labour Court hearing, this report was accepted by both Greyhound and SIPTU, as a true reflection of the current status. When the company sought to implement the recommendations, the collection staff refused to work.
“We have exhausted the industrial relations process for negotiations on legacy terms and conditions, which are unsustainable in an increasingly competitive environment.
“The council crews are welcome to return to work under the new terms and conditions as recommended by the Labour Court,” said the spokesperson.
Cllr Eoin O Broin (SF), who sympathises with the Greyhound workers, told The Gazette: “Their [Greyhound management] unilateral action in cutting workers’ wages and imposing a clock-in system without agreement is completely unacceptable.
“This approach to running a waste management company is not just bad for the workers, it is bad for customers as well.
“I am calling on Greyhound management to come to their senses, sit down with the trade unions and work out a sensible solution that would allow the workers to go back to work,” he said.

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