Marrickville Council Hearts Scabs?

150 workers at Marrickville Council in Sydney went on strike yesterday after Council decided to privatise green waste collection (Council stink over residents’ green bins, Vikki Campion, The Daily Telegraph, July 8, 2011). Council has hired scabs to replace strikers. It also plans “to ban union officials from council worksites during work times” according to the USU (Marrickville Council Brings In Strike Breakers, Graeme Kelly (USU General Secretary), July 7, 2011).

Marrickville Council is controlled by the Greens.

The Australian Greens believe that:

Australia must have a fair and equitable industrial relations system for all workers.
all people have the right to pursue their well-being in conditions of freedom and dignity, economic security and equal opportunity.
Australia’s future workforce must be highly skilled, highly trained and well paid; the existence of a safety net and the right to collectively bargain are essential to achieving these aims.
working people must receive fair and equitable remuneration for their work.
working people have the right to be involved in decisions about their work.
the right to be a member of a union, to collectively bargain, to collectively withhold labour and collectively organise in the workplace is essential to achieving a sustainable and democratic future.

free, independent and democratic unions are an essential pillar of a civil society.
people have the right to a safe workplace free from occupational hazards.
industrial manslaughter is a crime.
the objectives of profitability and efficiency should not override social and ecological objectives.
effective processes of dispute resolution, including conciliation and arbitration before an independent tribunal are a necessary element in any fair and effective industrial relations system.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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5 Responses to Marrickville Council Hearts Scabs?

  1. Ben Courtice says:

    I liked the way Fiona Byrne stood up for what she thought over the Israel boycott. This really stinks though, and I don’t just mean the uncollected rubbish.

  2. @ndy says:

    It’s pretty bad, really. Esp given that the USU reckons it was planned well in advance…

    “It appears that Council has deliberately brought this industrial action on – they have had tender documents ready, it is alleged, since May and they have also had strike breakers at the ready – the day after they announce their intentions to call tenders of council services. Added to that, they have tried to restrict workers’ rights to be represented by their union. These actions mark a disgraceful change in industrial relations in local government,“ said USU General Secretary, Graeme Kelly.

  3. @ndy says:


    Media Release
    8 July 2011
    Marrickville Council
    PO Box 14 Petersham 2049 Ph: 9335 2222 Fax: 9335 2029
    email: [email protected] web:

    Waste services negotiations continue

    Marrickville Council’s Waste collection services staff returned to work today following recommendations late yesterday from the Industrial Relations Commission.

    As part of the recommendations, Council voluntarily agreed to temporarily withdraw a call for public tenders for the collection of green waste.

    Waste collection services staff went on strike on Thursday, 7 July, 2011 following their withdrawal from negotiations with Council’s management over a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

    Waste collection staff withdrew from negotiations in May this year and placed a ban on the collection of green waste. Since the ban, Council has used contracted agency staff to collect all green waste.

    In recent years, Council staff has only collected about 10 per cent of green waste, with the bulk (90 per cent) collected by contracted agency staff.

    Marrickville Council General Manager Ken Gainger said that due to the ongoing refusal of waste services staff to collect green waste, Council had had no option but to call for tenders.

    “I have consistently reiterated to the staff and the USU that Council does not favour widespread contracting out of services,” Mr Gainger said.

    “The decision to call for tenders for the green waste services was borne out of necessity given that our waste staff has refused to operate this service.”

    Mr Gainger added that there would be no Council job losses.

    Marrickville Mayor Councillor Fiona Byrne said Council was committed to a speedy resolution.

    “Council has been requesting the USU to come back to the negotiating table for some weeks and looks forward to a resumption of meaningful dialogue between staff, the union and management.”

    Council management will meet with staff and United Services Union (USU) representatives on Monday, before returning to the Commission on Tuesday.


  4. Darrin Hodges says:

    Is anybody surprised by this? This is the party that gave Lee Rhiannon a ‘democracy’ portfolio.

  5. Aurel says:

    Is anybody surprised by this? It’s a party playing the liberal democratic game…

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