Greyhound workers vote to end 14-week dispute

Workers accept reduction in wages in return for lump sum

 Greyhound strikers  and  supporters outside the High Court in  Dublin earlier this month: the final vote was 52 in favour and 15 against the deal with one spoiled vote. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Greyhound strikers and supporters outside the High Court in Dublin earlier this month: the final vote was 52 in favour and 15 against the deal with one spoiled vote. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

The 14-week dispute between Greyhound workers and the company has ended with the workers agreeing to go back to work. Siptu members employed by Greyhound Recycling and Recovery voted by a substantial majority in favour of an agreement to end the dispute, which started in June, and had become increasingly bitter and protracted.

The final vote was 52 in favour and 15 against the deal with one spoiled vote. Greyhound will now drop its court action against the striking workers. The company had originally sought a wage reduction of 35 per cent saying its wages were much higher than competitors.

The workers agreed to accept a reduction in wages of between 15 per cent and 30 per cent in return for a sum equal to 30 per cent of their redundancy package to which they would have been entitled if they were leaving the company.

The ballot followed intense negotiations over the weekend between Siptu representatives and the management of the waste disposal company. These talks resulted in an agreement which was presented to the workers yesterday morning.

Greyhound managing director Michael Buckley said the end of the dispute now puts the company on a sustainable path and will secure 400 jobs.

Siptu utilities and construction division organiser Owen Reidy said he was glad that the agreement brings an end to a “long and difficult period for the workers and their families”. He said the dispute had shone a light on practices within the industry and he said it should be the subject of a Joint Labour Committee (JLC) to set pay and conditions and stop companies undercutting each other by driving down wages.

The agreement includes a redundancy package of two weeks pay plus statutory entitlements of two weeks per year of service for the workers who have decided to leave Greyhound Recycling and Recovery.

Thirteen of the workers who are remaining with the company will retain their previous terms and conditions. These workers will work on a Dublin City Council contract to collect waste from social housing units and will be selected according to length of service at the company.

The Greyhound workers were locked out at the west Dublin based waste disposal company on 17th June. Siptu has 80 members in the company which has a licence to collect household waste in the Dublin City Council area.