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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 18 September, 2014

Greyhound insists striking staff should get back to work

The strike, which began at 6am, centres on a proposed pay cut and cuts to allowances.

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File
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated 2.35pm

GREYHOUND STAFF ARE striking in Dublin this morning over a proposed cut to pay and other allowances.

SIPTU served strike notice on Greyhound Household in west Dublin on 19 June.

It came after workers held what the company called an ‘unofficial strike’ on Tuesday 17 June.

Strike action came into effect at 6am this morning.

SIPTU said its 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 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.

In a statement, Greyhound said it was disappointed at “SIPTU’s attempt to change an unofficial work stoppage, in breach of a Labour Court recommendation, into an official strike”.

This is contrary to our collective bargaining agreement with SIPTU’s which states that workers involved in unofficial work stoppages should work under protest. Under our agreement SIPTU should also Greyhound with two weeks notice of official strike action, they have not done this.

The company urged the workers to return to work under the new terms and conditions, and said the matter should then be referred to the Labour Court.

Strikebreakers

This afternoon, SIPTU condemned the use of ‘strikebreakers’ by Greyhound Household during the strike.

SIPTU Organiser, Henry O’Shea, said: “Our members who are on picket duty have not impeded the entry or exit of individuals or vehicles from the Greyhound Household facility. However, they have noted the entry and exiting times of the vehicles outside those specified in by-laws for the collection of waste. It is also unclear what level of training, if any, the men operating these vehicles have.”

O’Shea also dismissed claims by management that the strike action by SIPTU members was in breach of a collective agreement at the company.

He added that the over 70 SIPTU members on strike were willing to return to work under their previously agreed terms and conditions of employment.

A Greyhound spokesperson said the company welcomes the fact the strikers are complying with the recent High Court injunction by not impeding vehicles entering or exiting the facility.

In relation to drivers, the spokesperson said: “The drivers doing our collection at the moment are fully licensed and qualified and have been used consistently in the past by Greyhound to cover holiday and sick leave.”

He said that since their deployment following the unofficial work stoppage on Tuesday 17 June, “full service has been maintained and all customers’ bins have been collected”.

He also pointed out that Greyhound is complying with the Dublin City Council bye-laws.

Emergency waste collection

Sinn Féin’s Ballyfermot Councillor Daithí Doolan has urged Dublin City Council to implement an emergency waste collection service during the strike.

However, Greyhound said that normal service has been maintained for all its customers, indicating there is not a need for an emergency waste collection service.

On Wednesday, Greyhound rejected an allegation that it picked relief staff from casual labourers in a car park, saying it “reject[ed] out of hand the notion that the staff are picked out of a hat”.

First posted at 7am.

Read: Greyhound rejects that industrial dispute is ‘like an episode of The Sopranos’>

Read: Greyhound rejects that industrial dispute is ‘like an episode of The Sopranos’>

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