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Timeline: What's happened so far in the SIPTU vs Greyhound 'lockout'

The dispute has been ongoing for over a month.

Greyhound Workers Protests

STAFF AT GREYHOUND Recycling have been on strike for over a month.

The dispute centres on proposed pay cuts of up to 35% and changes to terms and conditions, and shows no sign yet of abating.

We take a look at how it all happened.

Unofficial striking begins

Staff at Greyhound Recycling in Dublin begin unofficial industrial action on 17 June.

The company says this will not affect its customers – and that the action “is in defiance of a recommendation by the Labour Court”.

A man is taken to hospital by ambulance after an incident at the Knockmitten Lane depot.

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Greyhound rejects claims that the staff were “locked out”, and says that the striking staff did not clock in and refused to work under the new terms and conditions.

Official strike announced

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SIPTU, which has 70 members in the company, serves seven days strike notice on Greyhound.

The union says its members have been “forced into this action”.

The Sopranos

Greyhound rejects claims from Independent TD Clare Daly that relief staff are picked from casual labourers in a carpark.

Daly asks the Taoiseach to intervene in the situation, saying it is “more suited to an episode of The Sopranos”.

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Getting back to work?

Greyhound urges staff to get back to work under the new terms and conditions, saying it was disappointed at “SIPTU’s attempt to change an unofficial work stoppage, in breach of a Labour Court recommendation, into an official strike”.

Greyhound strike continues. Greyhound Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

But as staff begin their official strike on Friday 27 June, SIPTU says its members were “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 condemns the use of ‘strikebreakers’ and dismisses claims the strike action was in breach of a collective agreement at the company.

Greyhound says that full service had been maintained since the strike began.

Marching in Dublin

SIPTU members working at Greyhound say they will march over their dispute with the company.

Three interim injunction orders granted to Greyhound Household Ltd on 17 June are lifted.

The union said that the decision “means that management cannot interfere with official union pickets or prevent workers from describing its actions as a lockout”. One injunction had prevented workers from interfering with access and egress from the plant.

Greyhound says it is happy that the High Court injunction is no longer necessary, and reassures customers that normal service is being maintained.

Greyhound Recycling Protests Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

July

As the strike moves into July, a SIPTU shop steward is knocked down while picketing in Clondalkin. He is not seriously injured.

The pickets continue.

Greyhound says that the van was a private vehicle that did not belong to the company, and that CCTV will be reviewed.

Jumping in front of vans?

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SIPTU rejects claims that striking workers are effectively jumping in front of vehicles at its plant in Clondalkin.

Greyhound says serious health and safety issues had arisen due to striking workers walking across the path of moving vehicles or standing too close to them.

SIPTU accuses management of creating a “bottleneck” at the entrance to the Clondalkin premises.

Greyhound strike continues. Greyhound Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Legal advice

On 7 July, it emerges that Greyhound is getting legal advice over alleged abuse of staff during the strike.

SIPTU members prepare to march on Dublin City Hall from Liberty Hall.

Dublin City Council prepares to discuss the strike.

On 8 July, Greyhound claims that agency workers brought in during the current dispute are 25% more productive than the regular collection staff.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland,  SIPTU President Jack O’Connor says that there was a Labour Court recommendation but it did not relate to pay.

The Labour Court made a recommendation alright, but it did not make a recommendation on pay cuts, it made recommendations on productivity.

SIPTU vs Greyhound

In mid-July, Greyhound sends an email to Greyhound customers in the Artane/Coolock/Marino/Killister area of Dublin saying:

This group of SIPTU picketers are deliberately following behind our trucks in groups of cars and stopping us from exiting our vehicles to collect your bins.The harassment and abuse of our collection crews has resulted in us having to stop collecting from your area this morning in order to defuse the situation.

SIPTU condemns what it calls “false and misleading information”.

Disputes and breadlines

Greyhound strike continues. A truck dr Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

On 12 July, Greyhound owner Michael Buckley says in an interview that the company needs to get to a certain level of savings or there “will be no jobs for anybody”.

Owen Reidy of SIPTU says that the lockout doesn’t reflect well on the industry.

He says that involved in the dispute are “people with commitments; with families with children who are effectively on the breadline for the last three weeks because of the actions of Greyhound”.

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On 16 July, United Left TD Joan Collins joins a group of people who stop a Greyhound truck from collecting rubbish on the Crumlin Road (above).

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Social welfare

Staff in social welfare offices in Dublin are told to refuse any Greyhound worker who applies for jobseeker’s payments and is currently involved in the ongoing industrial dispute with the waste management company.

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Sinn Féin calls on Tánaiste Joan Burton to withdraw the circular.

Donation from UNITE

On 22 July, the UNITE Trade Union donates €10,000 to support the 70 striking workers.

Jimmy Kelly of UNITE says:

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The same day, People Before Profit Councillors, Brid Smith and Tina McVeigh, together with a number of supporters block the passage of a Greyhound truck for over an hour on Sarsfield Rd in Ballyfermot.

On 25 July, Mandate Trade Union donates €2,500 to the locked-out workers.

Greyhound mandate

What’s the latest?

A gig in support of the workers will take place in August:

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a SIPTU spokesperson says that there have been no meetings between Greyhound and the union, and that the industrial action may carry on into the autumn.

He reiterates the call for Greyhound to go back to the Labour Court or Labour Relations Commission “to try and come up with a realistic solution to the problem”.

Greyhound says:

We again call on the striking workers to use the arbitration services of the state such as the Labour Relations Commission or the Labour Court for a binding recommendation.

The company also says that there is a garda investigation underway into incidents that occurred involving protesters and Greyhound trucks.

Read: Greyhound: Agency staff are doing a better job than striking workers>

Read: Greyhound “not interested in disputes”, SIPTU says workers “effectively on breadline”>

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