6 November 2020

Garbage truck industrial action 'disappointing' during recession: Suez

| Dominic Giannini
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Waste collection in the ACT

Suez has expressed its disappointment at drivers going on strike for the second consecutive Monday. Photo: TCCS Twitter.

Suez, the ACT Government’s contracted waste collector, says it’s disappointed its drivers have decided to undertake a second strike in as many weeks over a pay dispute with the company.

Garbage truck drivers will go on strike again tomorrow (9 November), affecting bin collections on Tuesday as well, after negotiations broke down between the Transport Workers Union and Suez.

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

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“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.”

Suez garbage truck drivers picketing on Monday

Suez garbage truck drivers picketing in Canberra on Monday (2 November). Photo: TWU NSW.

The minimum hourly wage for ACT truck drivers is $37.28 under the current arrangement, Suez said.

“Suez has taken measures across its joint Australia and New Zealand operation to limit the impact of COVID- 19 and the recession,” the company said.

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“Across Suez, all divisions have taken action to adjust to the vastly altered economic landscape in which we currently operate in order to protect the business.

“Examples of these steps include no CPI salary increase for salaried employees in 2020 and a 25 per cent pay reduction for senior executive staff for three months at the height of the pandemic. Some employees also worked reduced hours.”

The industrial action will impact more than 40 suburbs across the ACT.

Suburbs that have a Monday household waste and recycling bin collection are advised that their bins will be collected on Tuesday, 10 November instead of Monday, 9 November.

Residents are encouraged to leave their bins on the kerb until collected.

However, suburbs that have a Tuesday household waste and recycling bins collection are advised that their bins will not be collected on Tuesday and missed collections will not be caught up.

Monday rubbish collection will be affected in:

  • Chapman – waste
  • Chifley – waste and recycling
  • Coombs – waste
  • Curtin – waste
  • Denman Prospect – waste
  • Duffy – waste
  • Farrer – waste and recycling
  • Fisher – waste
  • Greenway – waste and recycling
  • Holder – waste
  • Kambah – waste and recycling
  • Lyons – waste and recycling
  • Mawson – waste and recycling
  • Oxley – waste and recycling
  • Pearce – waste and recycling
  • Rivett – waste
  • Stirling – waste
  • Torrens – waste and recycling
  • Uriarra Village – waste
  • Waramanga – waste
  • Weston – waste
  • Wright – waste
  • Yarralumla – waste.

Rubbish collection on Tuesday will not take place in:

  • Banks – waste and recycling
  • Bonython – waste and recycling
  • Calwell – waste and recycling
  • Conder – waste and recycling
  • Chisholm – waste
  • Fadden – waste
  • Garran – waste
  • Gilmore – waste
  • Gordon – waste and recycling
  • Gowrie – waste
  • Isaacs – waste
  • Isabella Plains – waste and recycling
  • Macarthur – waste
  • Monash – waste
  • O’Malley – waste
  • Phillip – waste
  • Richardson – waste and recycling
  • Tharwa – waste and recycling
  • Theodore – waste and recycling
  • Wanniassa – waste.

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Lucky them feeling safe enough in their jobs to take this action. We voted for a zero pay rise this year in the hope of keeping our jobs.

Methinks its time to get a HR licence so that I can move into a job with less stress and earn not much less than I do now.

You rusted on robotic Labor/Greens voters have just reelected a government that can’t even fix a problem that is the most basic function of a local council – garbage collection. Another four long years of incompetence to come.

Capital Retro10:08 am 10 Nov 20

The TWU/Green/Labor party is fixated only on getting the trains to run on time. They gave up on the buses. I don’t care what the garbos do because I can store my garbage and I don’t have any sympathy for Barr’s unit dwellers who have no options on dealing with garbage.

Good try. But we are talking about an issue between an outsourced service and its employees. Outsourcing is the favoured policy of your mob.

It sure how exactly the government can do much about it except claim contract default payments.

Capital Retro10:01 pm 10 Nov 20

It wasn’t always “outsourced”, JC.

Boot them all and hire new drivers. There are a heap of people out there looking for work right now. I’m sure some of them have a heavy rigid license. They might even be grateful to have a job rather than demanding above CPI pay raises in the midst of a recession.

Not a squeak out of the Labor/Greens clique. But you wouldn’t expect them to understand the maths of a 4% wage rise when the CPI is just 1.75%.

pink little birdie10:23 am 19 Nov 20

and yet everyone including the Liberal federal government are complaining about the lack of wage rises. The federal government has been forecasting 3%+ wages in their budget.

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