Garbos at the new Central Coast Council based around Gosford began “indefinite industrial action” yesterday (June 2) to protest a refusal to safeguard jobs in the council’s latest tendering process. The workers are employed by waste contractor Remondis which has the contract through to early 2018.
“68 local waste operators are not seeking bumper pay rises, all they are looking for is guarantees around their jobs and conditions in the new tender for council waste services”, Transport Workers Union NSW acting secretary Richard Olsen said. “Regretfully, negotiations with new [council] Administrator Ian Reynolds ended [on Thursday] without agreement being reached on the key issue of job security for local waste operators,” Olsen said. He said the protestors “want to make sure dodgy outside operators don’t come barging in, putting their unsafe trucks on our streets.”
New council distances self from protest
Central Coast administrator Ian Reynolds denied the new tender process was sufficient reason for local garbage drivers to strike. The Central Coast council has tried to distance itself from the industrial action, saying the wages and conditions of Central Coast Garbage drivers were “the responsibility of the current waste contractor”. “Council certainly respects the rights and entitlements of the Remondis drivers but we also have a broader commitment to deliver services to 331,000 residents on the Central Coast,” Reynolds said. “In fact given the knowledge, skill levels and experience of these drivers, they are extremely likely to be employed by a new contractor, should the present contractor not be awarded the contract”, he added.