Refuse workers vote to accept outsourcing

WORKERS providing Cork County Council’s refuse collection for 37,000 customers have voted to accept the outsourcing of the service to a private contractor.

The council is trying to identify preferred bidders for the bin collection service but has welcomed the acceptance by over 50 workers who are represented by the SIPTU trade union. Representative Eddie Mullins said the vote in favour was by a “good majority”.

He said the ballot was based on the outcome of involved negotiations at the Labour Relations Commission from which a set of proposals emerged.

While he would not give details of the exact nature of those proposals, he did say, once the service is outsourced, the staff members will have the option of redeployment within the council, transfer of undertakings (where staff are taken on by the new employer on terms and conditions not less than those they currently enjoy) or acceptance of a redundancy package.

Cork County Council said it could confirm that, following a review of the waste collection business, it was “close to finalising its decision in relation to its future”.

“Part of the decision-making process has involved discussions with staff and their union representatives,” it said.

“In this regard, we welcome the outcome of the ballot. Once we reach a final decision, further information will become available.”

Cork County Council is one of a number of local authorities trying to get rid of their refuse collection services.

In recent days, Cork county manager Martin Riordan held private talks with political party leaders in the council and outlined the situation with the service, which is projected to make a €3.5 million loss in the next year.

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