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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Striking Greyhound workers face off with picket crossers as High Court hearing adjourned

Five TDs turned up today to support the workers.

Updated 5.36 pm 

ABOUT SIXTY SUPPORTERS of striking Greyhound workers faced off with current Greyhound employees outside the High Court today.

Both groups were present as the company takes nine workers and councillor Gino Kenny to court for contempt after they allegedly ignored an injunction not to block Greyhound trucks.

The case itself has been adjourned for a week.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Chants of ‘scabs’ and ‘shame’ were directed at the Greyhound employees who say that their jobs are being put at risk by the 13-week-long dispute.

About 30 employees from the the company say that they got buses from the Greyhound offices this morning. They were asked if they being paid to be there or whether they are taking a day leave. They said that their employers facilitated their right to demonstrate.

One of the employees Paul Mulhall has worked in the Greyhound call centre for two years. He says that they employees have never bad mouthed the men on strike to customers who have complained about disruption but feels that their actions are putting the whole company at risk.

Asked whether it is unfair that he is there given the fact that he is not facing a pay cut like the workers, he says that the call centre employees are not earning 60% above industry average as the striking workers are.

The picketers were subjected to constant abuse by supporters of the locked-out men outside the court but Mulhall says this is nothing new.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Proposals for a reduced pay cut of 31% from 35% were rejected by Siptu workers yesterday.

Four TDs, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Joan Collins, Clare Daly and Mick Wallace were present in support of the the workers, a fifth Joe Higgins TD joined later.

Collins says that today’s court proceedings are an example of ‘bully’ tactics by the company. She also criticised the Government for not intervening in the dispute which she says demonstrates a wider problem in the waste management in Dublin.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Court proceedings began this morning with William Hamilton BL for the workers and Siptu requesting a “short” adjournment so that he can prepare affidavits from his clients.

Hamilton says that he has not been able to talk personally with all of his clients in the contempt case because they have been busy with LRC negotiations.

He urged Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon to consider that “there is a bigger issue of a trade dispute”. He also said that they haven’t had the opportunity to look through videos from Greyhound that purport to show the men blocking the trucks.

Louis McEntaggart BL, for Greyhound, said that there is an “ongoing contempt” of an injunction and that 255,000 people in Dublin are suffering disruption as a result. He said that there has been a “flagrant breach of the orders and undertakings on front of this court” and that there must be “some method of enforcement”.

He rejected the need for an adjournment saying that the issues are well known to both parties.

“This is about court orders and whether or not they are adhered to, ” he said.

One of the workers facing jail is Ray Reilly who says that he does not want to be imprisoned but that he is willing to do so to defend the rights of the workers’.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon said that she would reserved her judgement on whether an adjournment is needed until the afternoon. During which time she requested both parties go away and enter discussions. ”Think positively and keep talking,” she said.

Following discussions, both parties agreed to adjourn the matter for one week, with O’Hanlon pencilling in a full hearing for next week.

Greyhound says that, during the upcoming week, “detailed discussions will take place with a view to resolving all matters”. They are also assuring customers that “normal service has resumed and any outstanding collections will be completed tomorrow”.

The workers themselves are meeting in Clondalkin this evening to discuss the outcome of negotiations.

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Rónán Duffy

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