Garbage lines extend for kilometres as drivers strike again

Dominic Giannini 9 November 2020 51
Mugga Lane queue

The line to the Mugga Lane tip extended for kilometres over the weekend. Photo: Facebook.

The line to the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre extended for kilometres over the weekend, with some Canberrans waiting almost an hour to drop their rubbish off.

Rubbish piled up at the tip as garbage truck drivers went on strike for the second consecutive week, affecting Monday and Tuesday collections this week.

Residents have had to drop off their own rubbish and recycling at Symonston and Mitchell with no catch-up collections for those who missed out last Monday (2 November) and this Tuesday (10 November).

Hundreds of angry Canberrans took to social media to lash out, calling the consecutive strikes unfair.


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“Seriously, one week I was OK with, two weeks and hitting the same suburbs is just a joke,” Lisa Dean wrote.

“Try hitting somewhere else this time or better yet, do a make up run at the very least. We know what point you are making but it’s a bit unfair to strike the same areas twice in a row.”

Monday’s rubbish (9 November) will be collected on Tuesday, and Tuesday’s scheduled collection will not be picked up this week.

Garbage strike

A garbage truck driver strike will impact more than 40 suburbs across the ACT. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Families with two bins and a large amount of rubbish were just as annoyed, only being allowed to drop off three free bags to the tip.

Others cannot even access the free drop off because of difficulties proving residency.

“My son … cannot prove they live in an affected suburb because they have only been renting there for under two months,” Majella Kesby said.


READ MORE: Garbage truck industrial action ‘disappointing’ during recession: Suez


Some Canberrans also took issue with the principle of the strike, criticising drivers on more than $37 an hour asking for more money during a recession. But some still stood behind the drivers, chastising Suez for exercising “corporate greed”.

The drivers’ union is pushing for a 4 per cent yearly wage increase and paid breaks.

“Suez has been negotiating with the TWU in good faith for several months,” the company said in a statement.

“Suez is proposing wage increases of 2 per cent in 2021, 3 per cent in 2022 and 3 per cent in 2023. The company believes this offer is reasonable and fair given the current economic circumstances in Australia where [the consumer price index] over the 12 months to September rose just 0.7 per cent.

“Meanwhile, the CPI forecast for 2020–21 is 1.75 per cent.”

More information on the affected suburbs and free drop off options available can be found here.


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51 Responses to Garbage lines extend for kilometres as drivers strike again
russianafroman russianafroman 2:21 pm 13 Nov 20

Driving around in an AIR CONDITIONED truck, playing music and having a good time getting paid 37 DOLLARS AN HOUR for doing NOTHING, not even having to TOUCH a single bin or piece of rubbish. Watch as they purposely knock over your bins, completely full of it, getting paid 40 dollars an hour doing absolutely nothing. These are the most privileged workers in Australia. I have never seen such undeserving folk. And now they throw a tantrum because they want even more money? What kind of exploitation of the system is this? This is what happens when you tell your kid that crying gets you whatever you want in life. And they know this to be true. Can’t wait for these folk to be IRRELEVANT once technology comes and replaces them. Maybe then they’ll have to sell some of their jet skis or one of their Audis to keep above the water. Rich bastards demanding more money. Get a load of them.

horsie horsie 5:05 pm 12 Nov 20

This makes me absolutely sick. With 2 degrees I only wish I could make that sort of money and these clowns are going on strike to demand more! An in a recession to boot! $37 an hour is well above the median wage and is way too much for their work, they need a pay cut. How dare they demand that they are worth more than other people who do just as difficult, if not more difficult work. The government needs to pass some laws that prevent people above the median wage from striking like this. We also need to get rid of unions in this country, they always demand too much which ends up backfiring and results in jobs being lost because the business is unprofitable or jobs getting outsourced to other countries or getting automated away. They have lost their purpose and need to be closed. And you know what, by engaging in this idiocy they will only speed up their own demise. With self-driving vehicles on the way you can bet companies will be investing heavily to get them operational so they don’t have to deal with these clowns anymore. What a joke!

Wing Lee Wing Lee 11:35 pm 10 Nov 20

$37 is already quite a lot of money 😨

Courtney Maree Lee Courtney Maree Lee 9:09 pm 10 Nov 20

I'm a registered nurse....... I get $30 an hour in primary health.........

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:57 pm 10 Nov 20

Meanwhile, in the other Territory, another re-elected Labor government is actually showing some intestinal fortitude when it comes to taxpayer funded incomes –

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-10/nt-budget-unions-say-budget-wage-freeze-kept-secret/12865358

There’s been a lot of sloganeering about how “we’re all in this together”, and some sharp comments locally from Andrew Barr about people who thought they were going to “skate through”, but the concept of shared sacrifice seems to be very selectively applied in practice.

    JC JC 5:01 pm 11 Nov 20

    What’s the correlation? The article is talking about employees of the NT government. You do realise garbage collection here is contracted out and the dispute is between that company and its employees. Andrew Barr had no say in it. In fact as head of the ACT government he is as much a “victim” of the industrial action as rate payers are.

Brendan Lovett Brendan Lovett 7:27 pm 10 Nov 20

There is that strange hill in town with a building in it full of rubbish they should just drop it all there.

Roderick Saunders Roderick Saunders 7:06 pm 10 Nov 20

Did you approach the union for a statement, or only the company?

Lee McDowall Lee McDowall 6:39 pm 10 Nov 20

I disagree, they are not targeting the people who say yes to their pay rise, don't collect the rubbish/recycling of the chief minister, his cronies and the bosses of suez or whatever they call themselves.

Sharon Daley Sharon Daley 4:09 pm 10 Nov 20

It was one week for us (last Monday) they did a collection today - I’m not bothered so far.

Rachel Lemon Rachel Lemon 2:06 pm 10 Nov 20

I’m not saying they don’t deserve a pay increase ... but unemployment is high. They would be easily replaced!

ssek ssek 10:41 am 10 Nov 20

Again, sack every last TWU member and hire people who want to work as contractors. Plenty of people looking for a job these days.

Keran Niquet Keran Niquet 10:19 am 10 Nov 20

Typical of Australian unions, particularly the TWU. Greed,greed, and more greed!

Christine Martin Christine Martin 9:53 am 10 Nov 20

Moving house exactly at wrong time! Recycle bin will be full for new owners.. not good+

Sonia Voysey Sonia Voysey 8:26 am 10 Nov 20

I am sorry but $37 per hour is a lot of money. Some of our emergency services don't even get that!

Juz Hawke Juz Hawke 7:48 am 10 Nov 20

I don't think anyone has the right to ask for more pay during covid. Some people are not getting anything, why should garbos be entitled to more.

Tracy Robinson Tracy Robinson 7:39 am 10 Nov 20

I support the Drivers. I hope they get their pay rise.

Anne O'Hara Anne O'Hara 7:33 am 10 Nov 20

If they want to gain local support, perhaps don't have people who have no say over employment conditions the pawns. This strike has hurt the recipient of services, not the employer who saves on wages, petrol etc etc etc.

Matthew Windebank Matthew Windebank 7:32 am 10 Nov 20

Inconvenient for us but the most effective time to do it and I hope it works for them.

Krystle Prince Krystle Prince 7:10 am 10 Nov 20

They get paid a ton more than my husband who has a trade and supplies his own tools, he hasn’t had a pay rise in 5 years but you say anything in his industry and you are gone he would happily take a job doing the bins. I think they are being greedy and I’m pretty mad that the rubbish isn’t collected. We pay more for a 2nd bin due to a child with medical needs and extra waste so two bins full of rubbish, having to take the rest to the tip and recycling not emptied so that will be a month? It’s full now... not happy at all.

    Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts 7:48 am 10 Nov 20

    Krystle Prince the man with a Ute guy will take both bins to the tip for $40 - Jessy

    Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 12:40 pm 10 Nov 20

    Krystle Prince Your husbands in the wrong job then

Jeannou Zoides Jeannou Zoides 7:10 am 10 Nov 20

Whatever my garbage will stink and Hope doesn’t attract vermin’s and cockroaches

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