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The Greyhound Strike

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The Greyhound Strike

The following is an opinion piece by Mr Alan Finn and does not necessarily represent the views of the FRG.

On Tuesday 17th of June 2014, workers who turned up to do their shift work at the Greyhound plant in Clondalkin, where met by management who had new contacts for them to sign. The new contract saw a cut of up to 35% and the introduction of new clock – card system. These measures would have meant cuts of €250-270 per week for drivers and €120-140 per week for operatives.  The workers refused these conditions and they were locked out of their job. Security guards, who where then placed there to keep the workers from gaining access to the facility. The speed at which, the Greyhound Company had organised the security guards at the premises leaves little doubt that it was a well planned operation.

Employees of Greyhound, who were members of the state’s largest trade union, SIPTU, in response to the new contract, placed a blockade on the main waste storage facility.  Greyhound Recycling has since approached INTREO, the state agency, to find untrained, replacement staff for the striking employees.

The strike itself is now entering their 3rd month. Those on strike at present are living on a strikers wage of €200 a week from the Union, which understandably causing their families a great distress.  Some strikers including Jessie Hughes, Vincent Cooney, are struggling to pay their bills, while another lady who’s partner told her they are on strike nearly went in to labour as she is 8 months pregnant.

This strike has to be supported on the ground and we the public have to help in any way we can. I myself haven’t put out any rubbish bags in nearly 1 month. I wash out most of my rubbish and recycle what I can. I also bought a yard bin with a lid to put in the rubbish.  In addition, I have written to Greyhound voicing my support for the striking staff.

Truthfully, it is inconvenient to drive to recycle banks when services exist outside your door but please for the sake of solidarity with those people who are in this most unfortunate position.   For people living in the Dublin 8 areas there are several recycling bins either outside the water works on Marrowbone lane, or down outside St Theresa Gardens. You can telephone the local council on 01 222-2222, and they will tell you where the nearest recycling bins are should you ask.

You can telephone Greyhound on low call on 1890-989-998, and then hit number 3 on the key pad when you get through and ask, that workers to be allowed to return to their jobs, on their agreed conditions of employment. You can also contact your local TD or local Councillor to make it clear to your support for the Greyhound employees.

While it is understandable how strike breakers or “scabs” are simply trying to find work and are often from lower income brackets themselves, we must resist the urge to use Greyhound services while this strike continues.  I don’t blame scabs for trying to find work in these hard times but I do blame their employers for taking advantage of these people’s own situation.

By contrast in 2012, the workforce willingly compromised with by agreeing to add another 9 full hours to their roster without additional wages.

There has been fundraising events talking place to help the strikers one very recently with Irish artist including Don Baker and Christy Moore, performing for free to allow as much money they could raise and give it to the strikers and their families. Indeed other companies have donated cash sums for their cause but if every one of us was to support it on the ground this could be over very soon. Now the company have had a court ruling in their favour to stop strikers, and local supporters from everything from slowing down the greyhound trucks, to simply stopping them, if one breaks this rule they can be arrested and brought to court. In the long run this will add more costs to Greyhound rather than help them.


The Strikers are not asking the public to switch from Greyhound to another company, it’s vital that the company keep their rounds, and lift the bins.

You can visit the strikers at the depot in Clondalkin and or do something on the ground.

SIPTU are their union, you can also support them online here


Photos from Jackies front garden 751

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