HOW GREENS GOVERN: Notorious Greens mayor Fiona Byrne brings in scabs to attack workers

greensscab450Greens politicians have presented themselves as being pro-union and pro-worker. And yet when they govern, they act like big bad bosses of old, using tactics that union leaders have condemned.

The infamous Marrickville council in Sydney – led by failed Greens political candidate mayor Fiona Byrne – has launched a savage attack on blue-collar workers at the council. Byrne first came to national attention when her involvement in championing council boycotts of Jewish commerce and Israel provoked a massive backlash, thought to be largely responsible for her defeat in the recent NSW state election.

As this local newspaper report makes clear, not only is the council planning to axe council workers involved in “green waste collection services” but also planned to break a strike with “scab labour” to replacing striking workers protesting the Greens council’s policies.

When the workers protested Mayor Fiona Byrne’s decision, she swiftly cancelled talks with the workers’ representatives. The striking workers intend to be at council premises at 4.30 tomorrow morning where scab labour is rumoured to be ready to start work to smash the strike. It could be quite a bloody confrontation, from what we hear.

MARRICKVILLE council workers walked off the job this morning in protest against the council’s plans to outsource green waste collection services.

The council’s waste collection workers say they were informed for the first time about the plans in a four-line email sent out yesterday afternoon.

Union leader: “We haven’t seen the likes of this since the waterfront dispute. This is the first council to bring in ‘scab’ labour when workers are on industrial action,’’

The email told staff the council would be calling for tenders over the weekend for the green waste collection.

It also informed all union members they could no longer conduct any union business during working hours.

After arriving for their regular shift at 5am this morning, waste workers decided to strike and walked off the site in protest against the council’s decision.

But the council had already anticipated the move and had at least 15 ‘scab’ workers ready to start work on the striking workers’ rounds. The contract workers have since taken over the waste collection pick-up today while the workers are on strike.

workers

Addressing some 60 workers at a heated meeting outside Marrickville council chambers at noon today, United Services Union General Secretary Graeme Kelly said the council’s use of ‘scab’ workers was ‘unprecedented’.

“We haven’t seen the likes of this since the waterfront dispute. This is the first council to bring in ‘scab’ labour when workers are on industrial action,’’ Mr Kelly said.

He called on the Mayor Fiona Byrne, the council’s General Manager and all elected councillors to abandon ‘this campaign of war’ against council workers.

A meeting between union officials, Mayor Fiona Byrne and Greens MP David Shoebridge about the tender was called off this morning following the workers’ actions.

Marrickville Labor Cr Emmanuel Tsardoulias was the only councillor at the meeting.

Cr Byrne said the council was committed to a speedy resolution of this situation but in the meantime needed to provide waste services for residents.

“Residents need their rubbish collected. Staff walked away from overtime collection of 10 per cent of Greenwaste and refused to take up offers of reinstatement,’’ Cr Byrne said.

“Council has a commitment to no staff job losses and maintaining conditions. It has been proactive in creating new positions over the last year, by bringing services like graffiti removal and Trades back in house. We have created new apprenticeships to invest in the long term future of our workforce. Council is having to outsource Green waste collection because staff have refused to do it for last few months.’‘

“Council looks forward to a meaningful dialogue between staff, the union and management.’‘

Having heard that ‘scab’ labour will be on the site again early tomorrow morning, workers will meet at the depot at 4.30am.

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “HOW GREENS GOVERN: Notorious Greens mayor Fiona Byrne brings in scabs to attack workers

  1. Giuseppe De Simone

    This is the sort of strong leadership and uncompromising governing that we need to bring rates down and services up. It is about time these featherbedded workers realised that no one owes them a living. If they don’t want to work for the pay and conditions offerred which exceed all legal requirements, then they should be retrenched and the jobs outsourced. The Greens in this respect are superior to the ALP which is beholden to its union masters. It is even led in NSW by an ex Union heavyweight with a background of screwing employers so the NSW economy was run into the ground.

    Greens politicians are pro-Union and pro-worker. But most of all they pride themselves on being in favour of the disempowered against the privileged elites. In NSW, Unions have been the privileged elite and that is why the State is in such dire straits. This means that when the Unions seek to abuse their privileged position rather than acting responsibly and ethically, the Greens will jack up like any one else.

    Even the ALP brought in the troops when it really mattered.

    Is this a sign of the Greens being pragmatic effective leaders? How ironic! And Vexnews prides itself on economic orthodoxy!

    Of course, I could just as easily denigrate these self-anointed guardians of the workers for their hypocrisy. But I’ll save that for another day and another issue.

  2. David Shoebridge

    The Greens position on Marrickville is clear. Any restrictions on union access are to be withdrawn and there will be no contracting out and my door is always open to the USU.

  3. David Shoebridge

    The Greens position is clear – there will be no contracting out and no restriction on union rights of entry. My door is always open to the USU and despite the rhetoric this dispute will be resolved recognizing the rights of the union, the principle of no contracting out – and if need be – going to the industrial umpire as happened today for a ruling.

  4. Medici

    “Council has a commitment to no staff job losses and maintaining conditions. It has been proactive in creating new positions over the last year, by bringing services like graffiti removal and Trades back in house. We have created new apprenticeships to invest in the long term future of our workforce. Council is having to outsource Green waste collection because staff have refused to do it for last few months.’

    Hmm smells to me like an ALP Black Op. This will backfire on the union badly me thinks. Not too many workers out there who get a no job loss commitment from their employer. Sounds like a good Greens Policy that the ALP is trying to corrupt.

  5. Ronnie

    The Greens have one constituency – inner city, white collar self described ‘progressives’. They don’t care about anyone else.

  6. Piv

    Since when have Greens truly cared about workers? They are simply starting to show their true colours.

  7. Anonymous

    Now these radical Greens are threatening to boycott any businesses that dont support the middle class tax hike known as the carbon tax.

  8. Have you ever read Animal Farm, Graeme Kelly?
    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

  9. Byron in Wahroonga

    Sixty garbos, for one of the geographically smallest council areas in Australia?? No wonder they’re easily replaced by fifteen contractors.

  10. Anonymous

    Why is a greens MP meddling in council business? Mr Shoebridge should be receiving a call from ICAC shortly

  11. Angry Punter

    Not only is the Marrickville Council organising scab labour it’s also trying to cut the basic conditions of long-term staff and has just banned the union from speaking to employees during work time. This is the most aggressively anti-worker council in the country. Coincidentally, the other notable instance of a government organising scab labour to undermine unions in recent times was organised by Tasmanian Greens Minister for Corrections Nick McKim.

  12. Bill Calvin

    Those greens just love a good old fashioned Rassenkrieg don’t they.
    Kicking the workers and boycotting all those pesky Joooooooos who have taken over all the good organic coffee shops.

  13. Bob Santamaria

    Dear Mr Landeryou,
    Its with great affection that I see that even while one of the greatest threats to western democracy is occuring, with that communist enspired attack on our, sorry my, sorry that friend of Democracy and decency Ruppert,you hold fast and write an excellent beetup about some lazy, sorry working class hero’s from the inner city lattee drinking suburbs of Sydney.
    The communist enspired extreme left wing reactionaries of the Age and the Communist running dogs of the Greens, Lee Rhianon etc, must now be attacked as never before to ensure that the threats faced by the pure and just, the true believers etc must prevail.
    What, I ask you is the motivation of the socialist apararchiks who are trying to defame our great leader Ruppie and his fearless family. Its the downfall of the Catholic church and the end to the choir system of western democracy and all that is right.

  14. Jimmy

    Hey Byron of Wahroonga you are a dope, there are only 15 Garbos at Marrickville Council, there are 60 in total within all of the waste services provided by council, Maybe you were one of the scabs!

  15. Matt

    Yes, the council is ruled by fiat by the Mayor, there is no General Manager…who do u think is making these decisions

    jesus guys. seriously?

  16. SERGIO

    SAY NO TO THE GREENS!
    If you need a Mural done call me.
    9557 5898

  17. Orf

    God this site has become so predictable, boring and repetative. Write something interesting for once.

  18. Brimbank Party hack

    Are’nd the Watermelons good mates with carbon Julia?

  19. Shirl In Sydney

    Orf….if you have a problem with the site…why are you here ??

    Something must attract you.

  20. Byron in Wahroonga

    Any lads want to meet George, Tony and myself for a spot of dogging in the Wahroonga male public lavatory?

  21. Bob Santamaria.

    Bob has been sensored when he had a go at you for supporting the evil Murdoch empire, via your piss ant friends like Bolt at the HUN. I take this as a great badge of honour. Thank you Andrew, hypocracy writ large.

  22. Ex ALP member

    Laugh at ‘The Greens’ all you like!
    ‘But nothing will save the ALP’. In every State, Territory and the Commonwealth they are facing a decade of opposition and defeat.

  23. Taking of Pell 123

    The Green councillor supported the same thing at Manly Council

  24. ??

    Isn’t that the risk you take with industrial action though? You strike to take industrial action to force the employer to do something. But if it turn out the employer does something you didn’t expect… isn’t that too bad?

  25. Green without envy

    Not sure how Greens on this site continue to spew hate towards the ALP.

    Without a large swag of ALP MPs the Greens would not be able to get any greens policies put in place.

    While the Greens may profit from Labor’s poor form in some inner city seats (but only with lib preferences) – if Labor loses even one seat to libs then you can forget any progress on the environment with Abbott.

    Labor bashing by greens makes no long term sense.

  26. Mick

    @Green without envy, part of a being a Green’s voter is being able to hold completely contradictory positions without ever having to think about consequences.

    It’s why Bob is squealing like a piglet every time he gets asked a negative question. He doesn’t have to explain his views! He is a Green!

  27. in the no

    graeme kelly dosent worry about any of his members anywhere no why he is being taught by tony sheldon so the greens have nothing to worry about

  28. Giuseppe De Simone

    My first comment is still awaiting moderation. I am very moderate!

  29. Pingback: HOW GREENS GOVERN: Notorious Greens mayor Fiona Byrne brings in scabs to attack workers « Only Ed

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