herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Workers 'ready to go to jail' in Greyhound row

Locked out Greyhound employees Ray Reilly and Paul Murray
Locked out Greyhound employees Ray Reilly and Paul Murray

WORKERS "locked out" for three months in a bitter dispute with Greyhound Waste Recycling management over pay cuts have said that they are prepared to go to jail.

It comes as the row escalates with Siptu workers rejecting Labour Relations Commission (LRC) proposals that pay cuts be reduced from 35pc to 30pc and a redundancy fund be set up for those that want to leave.

derisory

The commission also proposed a €150,000 fund to buy out terms and conditions for those who stayed.

A large majority of the 80 Siptu workers voted against the proposal, which they described as "derisory".

Greyhound has said that the rejection means that 400 jobs at the company are now at risk.

It has also taken legal action against workers who are accused of blockading Greyhound headquarters, in breach of High Court orders.

With the original workers picketing, the company has employed replacement staff in an attempt to continue its work. But a blockade had been set up at Greyhound's Clondalkin site.

Siptu has said that its pickets are legal and it is not responsible for the actions of people who support the striking workers.

Representatives of the original workers yesterday called a press conference and said that they were wiling to go to jail.

The press conference heard of the massive strain that the industrial action was placing on the families of workers, who are now living on €200 a week.

The son of one "locked out" Greyhound worker was "vomiting continuously" and asking if they will lose their home.

Greyhound has said it will go to the High Court to prevent breaches of court orders preventing a blockade.

"Greyhound will now go to the High Court to seek enforcement orders to ensure the law of the land is upheld.

"The company will also be seeking damages and costs from those involved in these illegal and, at times, criminal activities," a spokesperson said.

Two High Court injunctions have previously been granted on foot of claims of unlawful protests.

Speaking about the reasons behind rejection of the LRC proposals, Sitpu organiser Owen Reidy said: "One of the reasons was the distrust of the employer who has reneged on previous agreements. There was no guarantee that even this inadequate offer would be honoured if it was accepted by the workers."

Speaking at the news conference yesterday, employee Ray Reilly said that if the company was serious it must come up with a serious offer.

Today nine workers will be before the High Court facing possible jail for breaches of injunctions granted to Greyhound over alleged illegal picketing.

Siptu was not officially represented at yesterday's press conference.

hnews@herald.ie

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