Greyhound dispute adjourned as talks continue

High Court hears ‘well-advanced’ talks continue in hope of achieving resolution

Talks are continuing between Greyhound Waste Recycling and more than 70 striking workers in an effort to resolve the dispute arising from the company's imposition of pay cuts exceeding 30 per cent.

Louis McEntaggart BL, for the company, told the High Court today the sides are continuing "well-advanced" talks in the hope of achieving a "full and acceptable" resolution to the dispute. There was one remaining issue in that regard, counsel added.

Given the continuing talks, the sides believed it would not be appropriate to comment further, Mr McEntaggart said.

In those circumstances, he and William Hamilton BL, for SIPTU and all but one of the strikers, said the sides wanted a week long adjournment. The sole respondent worker representing himself was also consenting to the adjournment, counsel added.

On that basis, Mr Justice Brian Cregan today again adjourned proceedings by the company which could have resulted in attachment of property and some strikers being jailed over alleged contempt of court orders, granted last June, preventing an alleged illegal blockade of the company's plant at Clondalkin, Dublin.

When the matter was before the court last week, the company and SIPTU, representing the strikers, agreed to enter talks and to a week long adjournment to facilitate those.

Last week, 57 of the 78 striking workers voted to reject the company’s terms for resolution of the dispute, which began last June. Those terms included pay cuts of about 31 per cent, rather than some 35 per cent, and three and a half weeks redundancy pay.

Greyhound has claimed the dispute meant some 255,000 people in the Dublin area were not having their waste collected and public health issues were involved. In its proceedings, the company has alleged contempt of court orders initially granted last June restraining interference with entry and exit from the Greyhound plant. Its owner Michael Buckley claimed the company could face closure with the loss of 400 jobs after most of the strikers rejected as “derisory” its proposals to end the dispute.