SOME 550 workers at waste-management company Greenstar have been told they will have to accept wage cuts of up to 38pc if a buyer is to be found for the troubled firm.
Greenstar, which has 80,000 residential and 15,000 business customers, was put into receivership last August with debts of more than €83m.
Receiver David Carson of Deloitte will meet with SIPTU officials today to discuss the future of the company. He has set a deadline of Friday to reach an agreement.
Mr Carson has previously said wages at the company are too high and will need to be cut if it is to find a buyer.
SIPTU organiser David Lane said workers had been told their pay would have to be cut by between 13pc and 38pc.
"They're totally shocked. Some of them have over 25-30 years' service in the industry," said Mr Lane. "The receiver is saying that Greenstar is above market level and unless market level is hit, no buyer is going to be interested. I don't know if there is a buyer in the wings.
"We have to try to reach an agreement by Friday. The receiver will have to make a decision then whether the company is commercially viable to be sold."
Many of the workers had previously worked for other waste companies that were bought out by Greenstar.
It has operations throughout the country, including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford and Kilkenny.
The recession has hit the waste sector particularly hard and has seen a fall in the volume of rubbish being produced by both residential and business customers.
There has also been a sharp decline in overseas demand for recycled material.