Bin strike hits 300,000

MORE than 300,000 Dublin city householders did not have their rubbish collected yesterday morning because of a half-day strike by bin collectors.

The Dublin City Council's cleansing department staff went on strike in support of workers at Oxigen Environmental the company which is under contract to the council to collect the capital's green bins.

Oxigen workers want the company to negotiate with SIPTU, the union which represents the Dublin City Council bin collectors, over pay and work conditions. Oxigen is refusing to negotiate with SIPTU, but it insisted yesterday it will not stop its workers joining the union.

SIPTU claimed yesterday that several Oxigen workers had been subjected to "bullying and harassment" by management but the company denied this.

Dublin City Council staff yesterday morning joined more than 50 workers at Oxigen who have been picketing the company's depots for almost four weeks.

SIPTU called on Dublin city manager John Fitzgerald to intervene in the dispute, insisting commitments were given to the trade unions in 1997 about the use of contractors.

"We had a commitment that Dublin City Council that they would only contract out work that would normally not be done by staff, and that these companies would recognise unions," SIPTU branch secretary Paul Smyth said.

A Dublin City Council spokeswoman said while bin collections could not be guaranteed they should be left out as normal.

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