Central Coast Waste Strike
Release date: 2/06/2016
TWU NSW MEDIA RELEASE, 2 June 2016
Transport Workers Union NSW Acting Secretary Richard Olsen has said that industrial action by Central Coast waste workers was a last resort forced on them by the refusal of the new super Council Administrator to agree to safeguard their jobs in the upcoming tender process.
Indefinite industrial action began today and will affect all suburbs and communities across the Central Coast, with bins left on the kerbside.
“This industrial action is a last resort by local waste operators, who are desperate to protect their jobs and their ability to support their families,” Mr Olsen said.
“For more than a year these hard working locals have been let down by a series of Mayors and Councils, who used the impending Council merger as an excuse to avoid writing job security into the upcoming tender for Council waste services.
“We’ve held negotiations with the new Administrator and, while there has been some movement, he has refused to give our local waste operators and their families the guarantees they desperately need.
“We know that Campbelltown City Council have inserted clauses into their waste service tenders that protect local jobs, existing workers and their conditions. It’s been done before and it can and must be done on the Central Coast.”
Local waste operator Ian Hankinson said that they don’t want to inconvenience their neighbours and the community but had been left with no choice.
“It’s a shame that it has come to this. We’ve exhausted every other avenue over the past year. This is about all of our abilities to keep a roof over our families heads, pay the bills and put some money into the local economy,” Mr Hankinson said.
“We’ve all got families to support and we won’t get paid when we go on strike, but this is about making sure locals like us still have jobs in a years’ time. We hope the community of the Coast understands where we are coming from.”
Mr Olsen said that while industrial action was ongoing, waste operators remained willing to continue to negotiate with the Administrator to bring a reasonable end to this dispute.
“Local waste operators love the Coast and they love their work, but they’ve been backed into a corner. We are willing to keep talking to the Administrator, but he has to give these local waste operators and their families the written guarantees they desperately need,” Mr Olsen said.
“Oral contracts are not worth the paper they are written on.
“Waste operators are simply seeking guarantees for local jobs on the Central Coast and safeguards in the new tender. We want to make sure dodgy outside operators don’t come barging in, putting their unsafe trucks on our streets.”
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