Evidence of serious and on-going breaches of by-laws, health and safety and environmental law by Greyhound must lead to real sanctions.

greyhound marchIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, has appealed to workers, trade unionists and members of the general public in Dublin to support a march to City Hall organised by locked-out Greyhound workers, which will take place this Monday (Sept 1st). The march will assemble at 5pm at Liberty Hall before making its way to City Hall to coincide with the monthly meeting of Dublin City Council.

Workers and their supporters will be protesting at the workers mistreatment by the Greyhound waste collection company, who locked them out 11 weeks ago for failing to accept a 35% pay cut, and will also be handing in a dossier of evidence showing serious and on-going breaches of city by-laws, health and safety and environmental regulations by the company.

Deputy Boyd Barrett who has been supporting the workers since the dispute began and who has joined them regularly on the picket-line over recent weeks, described the Buckley Bothers, who own Greyhound, as “rogue employers and bully-boys”.

He said that, apart from the disgraceful bullyboy tactics they have employed against their workforce, there was now also hard evidence that the company was systematically breaching by-laws, health and safety regulations and environmental laws.

He said that Greyhound should have all public contracts and licences revoked until the Company re-instated the locked-out workers on their existing pay and conditions, entered into meaningful negotiations, and complied with city by-laws and health, safety and environmental laws.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “It is absolutely incredible that a company that treats workers in the appalling way Greyhound have treated their workforce should benefit from public contracts and state licences. They have engaged in the most disgraceful bully-boy tactics against their own employees, attempting to bludgeon them into accepting utterly savage pay cuts without any negotiation or even prior-warning. They have engaged in a most dishonest and foul campaign of demonization and false propaganda against the workforce in order to cover-up the real reasons for the dispute – namely, the company’s outrageous abuse and bullying of its employees.”

“But as if the Company’s treatment of workers is not bad enough, the workers have compiled a dossier of hard evidence showing that the company is systematically and deliberately engaging in very extremely serious breaches of city by-laws and health, safety and environmental legislation. The dossier being presented to the County Manager, Owen Keegan, at tomorrow’s protest shows that the company has been collecting bins well beyond the hours they are permitted to under city by-laws, over-loading trucks to dangerous and illegal levels, and forcing drivers to work much longer hours than they are legally allowed. There is also evidence that Greyhound have been placing

different streams of waste, separated by householders (general waste, green waste and brown waste), into a single refuse truck – making a mockery of their re-cycling obligations and environmental regulations.

It is absolutely unacceptable that a rogue company like Greyhound that brazenly flouts the law – endangering workers, the general public and the environment, in doing so – and who abuses its workforce in the most brutal way should continue to receive council contracts and state licences.

Owen Keegan must immediately cancel Dublin City Council’s contract with Greyhound and the relevant regulatory authorities must do likewise with its waste collection licence until such time as this company is brought fully and finally to heel.

The debacle we are now witnessing at Greyhound is the bitter but inevitable consequence of the disastrous decision to privatise waste collection services and turn it into a money making racket. If Greyhound is allowed to get away with this it will set a very dangerous precedent and give a green light to other rogue employers that they can abuse their workforce and break health, safety and environmental laws with impunity. That’s why it is vitally important that other workers and members of the public show their support for the Greyhound workers at Monday’s protest and for as long as this dispute continues.”