What Do We Want?

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“This dispute represents a defining moment for the trade union movement and the workers at Greyhound deserve the full support of the whole union movement,
“If it is not resolved soon, I would be asking every trade union member in the country to consider very seriously who they have a contract with to collect their waste.”

John Douglas, president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) today.

Can this end well?

Siptu considers calling for boycott of Greyhound (Kitty Holland, Irish Times)

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21 thoughts on “What Do We Want?

  1. Am I still On This Island

    Why is every dispute a defining moment for the trade union movement?

    1. dhaughton99

      Coz the unions done nothing for the people over the last 10 years and need something to post on Facebook.

      1. bertie blenkinsop

        From a personal perspective I’d disagree with that but in general you’re probably right.

  2. Helen

    fair enough, we support the workers. but if SIPTU wasn’t in the habit of always selling-out their workers, things like this wouldn’t happen. Jack O’Connor is a useless bureaucratic and overpaid w@@@ker.

  3. Dave

    Or they accept that they no longer work for the council, may have to work for a living now, and just get back to work.

    1. Chucky R. Law

      The former council bin collectors are still employed by the council. None of them were transferred AFAIK. In a genius public sector move, the revenue was privatised, not the cost base.

    2. PaddyIrishMan

      I don’t think they have a problem with working, they have a problem taking a large pay cut from a very profitable Isle of Man based company….

  4. cormacjones

    So SIPTU think if their members boycott Greyhound, thereby reducing the number of collections they make, this will secure better contracts/work conditions for SIPTU members at Greyhound? What happens if Greyhound relent? Should the SIPTU members go back to Greyhound?

    1. johnthebaptist

      I think people can make their own minds up about that, but yea – thats generally how boycotts work.

  5. yoji

    So SIPTU think if their members boycott Greyhound, thereby reducing the number of collections they make, this will secure better contracts/work conditions for SIPTU members at Greyhound? – Possibly if a boycott is big enough to cause significant revenue loss.

    What happens if Greyhound relent? Should the SIPTU members go back to Greyhound? – Yes.

    The goal would be for them to not enforce such a heavy cut in such a draconian way in the future.

  6. Drogg

    I don’t want to be the bad one here, but greyhounds collection services are terrible and have actually gotten a lot better since they have been using agency guys, but they are still way down the rankings of decent bin services. Why should it not be guys do good job and get payed a decent wage not guys do mediocre job but still get increase in pay packet.

    1. johnthebaptist

      Because a person has a right to their contracted terms and conditions in their place of employment, which an employer doesnt have the right to change at a whim.

      Theres a massive power imbalance between the groups of people who take these jobs, and the owners of these businesses. The business owner can always wait out an individual worker (or in this case lay them off) and force them into taking lower wages unless those workers have protection by grouping together and forcing owners to pay proper rates. They have a right to unionise because without the protection of numbers no matter how good a person is at their job they wont be able to force their employer to pay them what theyre actually worth. Here, agency workers are being brought in who are even poorer and more desparate to force the union to back down – the only people who benefit in a situation like this is the employer, without the employer providing any extra value to either the worker or consumer. All that happens is the value generated by the company is split even more unevenly between owner and worker.

      Put it this way – even if you did accept that the workers would be replaced by the “better” agency workers, why should an employer whos doing nothing extra for the money gain from their wage cut?

  7. dhaughton99

    Have a read of this IT article from today, it’s pretty disturbing.

    “The staff say drivers were asked to take a cut in net weekly pay to €400, from €580, and helpers to €313, from €450.”

    “Last month workers at the Greyhound facility at Crag Avenue learned on arrival at the plant that they were being asked to accept pay cuts of up to 35 per cent.
    According to the workers, who are members of the Siptu trade union, when they refused to accept the pay cuts they were asked to leave the premises, and other people who were waiting nearby arrived to do the work.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/retail-and-services/greyhound-offences-highlight-private-waste-industry-woes-1.1862286?page=1

    1. PaddyIrishMan

      As bad as that is it would seem from the comments on this page that Broadsheet readers think they all should be fired. Who would have known that all the “right on” commentariat here were just a bunch of scab worker loving William Martin Murphys?

    2. Sancho

      Bit weird that vehicle breakdowns have reduced 44% using the same vehicles when the new workers joined. If that’s true, it’s a very poor reflection on those workers who are on strike.

          1. johnthebaptist

            Not exactly an unbiased source, and with no way of verifying that I think one can safely, reasonably calling total bullshit on that.

  8. Ha

    It’s very difficult to change a culture of lazy work practices in Ireland without discriminate firing.

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