Today, waste workers in City of Sydney and Erskine Park are taking protected industrial action to prevent their pay and conditions going backwards under Cleanaway’s proposals.
The 24-hour strikes follow months of negotiations at each site, which include Cleanaway attempting to roll back conditions like overtime, rostering and consultation, while City of Sydney workers are paid lower rates than their colleagues in other parts of the state.
Cleanaway workers across the country are facing similar attacks from the company. Queensland waste workers walked off the job last week over attempts to slash the overtime payments they rely on.
Last year, the TWU successfully fought for the reinstatement of a Sydney delegate involved in enterprise agreement negotiations after he was unfairly sacked by the company.
TWU NSW/Queensland Secretary Richard Olsen said workers have been left little choice but to withdraw their labour to protect their conditions.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about where we would be without our hardworking waste workers. They have the well-deserved respect of our community but clearly not of their employer, which is attacking their pay and conditions, sending them backwards.
“With heavy vehicles in residential streets, safety is paramount. Waste workers must not be pressured to work longer, faster and harder to keep up with the bills.
“Rather than improving pay and conditions to attract more employees, Cleanaway is refusing to negotiate, trying to bulldoze through new enterprise agreements that would pressure workers to work longer hours including over weekends while stripping back overtime payments and refusing City of Sydney workers’ reasonable requests for pay parity with their colleagues.
“It’s disappointing that it has come to protected industrial action just to try and get Cleanaway to negotiate in good faith. Workers up and down the country have had to take similar measures to face off attacks to their overtime and conditions.
“Enough is enough. Cleanaway must return to the table and treat their workers with the respect and decency they deserve,” he said.
In City of Sydney, public bins will be affected, while the Erskine Park site is responsible for commercial waste in the area.
Media contact: Pippa Hatton 0418 982 257