Siptu warns bin strike may spread


Talks will be convened at the Labour Relations Commission tomorrow in a bid to resolve a dispute over refuse services in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown council area of south Dublin.

Siptu has served strike notice on behalf of its members over plans to outsource the collection of bins to Panda, an outside company.

The strike is due to start this Thursday.

The union said that if the threatened strike goes ahead it could also affect other local authority services in the borough and spread to South County Dublin, Fingal and Dublin city.

It claimed the action was being taken “as a direct result of the unilateral decision of the Dun Laoghaire county manager, Owen Keegan, to end waste collection by direct labour”.

Siptu claimed the decsion is “in clear breach of agreements reached at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) in November 2008 and in September 2009”.

“It also flies in the face of the commitment to maintain direct labour in the Croke Park Agreement,” said Siptu branch organiser Ramon O’Reilly.

Discussions took place between Siptu and the council took on June 29th and “an agreement was reached that neither party would take unilateral action while negotiations were continuing”, the union has said.

But on July 8th, the council issued a press release stating that Panda would be taking over the waste collection service on July 26th.

The council’s director of water and waste services Frank Austin at that time described the situation was a “win-win” for the council’s existing customers and for the council itself.

He said the council will make a “substantial financial saving” and that the redeployment of staff who currently provide the grey bin service would result in the delivery of improved services across the areas of street cleansing, water and waste services, transportation and parks.”

Mr Austin said there would be no compulsory redundancies.