Lifting of injunction against Greyhound staff welcomed by SIPTU

Tuesday 01 July 2014 16.59
Workers have been maintaining pickets at a number of Greyhound's premises
Workers have been maintaining pickets at a number of Greyhound's premises

SIPTU has welcomed a High Court decision to lift interim injunctions against employees of waste management company Greyhound Household in their dispute over pay. 

Around 70 employees belonging to SIPTU claim they were locked out on Tuesday, 17 June after refusing to accept pay cuts of up to 35% imposed unilaterally by management.

Since then, Greyhound has been using temporary agency workers on the new lower pay rates to carry out bin collections. 

Before the employees' official strike commenced on Friday, Greyhound had secured temporary injunctions against the workers.

However, this morning the High Court lifted the injunctions and the workers undertook to comply with industrial relations legislation. 

Last week, the Taoiseach said he would be contacting the National Employment Rights Authority to investigate the dispute, after United Left TD Clare Daly accused the company in the Dáil of exploitation and work practices appropriate for ‘The Sopranos’. 

Greyhound has strongly rejected those allegations.

However, as the industrial dispute enters its third week, management and SIPTU remain deadlocked. 

Labour Relations Commission Director of Conciliation Kevin Foley confirmed that it had been contacted by the Taoiseach's office. 

However, he said they had not yet found a basis to intervene. 

Greyhound has argued that it was relying on a Labour Court recommendation that acknowledged that the cost base at the company was unsustainable.

It says it has exhausted the industrial relations process, and had notified SIPTU and its members that it would be implementing the Labour Court recommendation on 17 June. 

The company stresses that its agency personnel are competent, fully licensed and qualified, and are being paid in line with the Labour Court recommendation. 

SIPTU Organiser Henry O'Shea welcomed the lifting of the High Court orders. 

However, he strongly disputed that the Labour Court recommendation endorsed the scale of the pay cuts implemented.

He noted that the recommendation does not specify any level of cuts, but merely urged the two sides to engage on alternative ways of securing savings other than pay cuts. 

He pointed out that nothing had been finally agreed with the union. 

Mr O'Shea said that up to now the union has been concentrating on getting the court injunctions lifted and is now considering its further options. 

He said the union would maintain pickets at the Knockmitten plant in West Dublin and the company headquarters in Clondalkin. 

He said there would also be a march to City Hall in support of the workers on Monday, 7 July to coincide with the monthly council where the dispute will be on the agenda. 

He condemned what he called the use of "scab labour" by Greyhound Household as an attempt to break the resolve of the affected workers.

Meanwhile Dublin City Council says Greyhound has informed the council that it has contingency plans in place to complete scheduled collections. 

It said that customers can contact Greyhound directly if they have any queries. 

Greyhound says it has maintained all bin collection services.