Dispute puts bin collection at risk
HUNDREDS of thousands of householders face the prospect of not having their bins collected this week because of a dispute over a council's outsourcing of the collection service to a private operator.
SIPTU has threatened to withdraw services in Dublin from Thursday after Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council decided it would no longer provide a direct service to the public.
If the strike goes ahead, it will result in household waste not being collected during the Festival of World Cultures which begins on Friday. Up to 200,000 people are expected to attend.
SIPTU said it may take industrial action after the council announced in May it was outsourcing its collection to private operator Panda -- a move the union said was a breach of agreements reached at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).
Panda is expected to take over the waste collection service in Dun Laoghaire next Monday.
A spokeswoman for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown said it would attend the LRC today for talks with the union "without preconditions".
The council is owed €27m in unpaid bin charges.
Last night, union spokesman Ramon O'Reilly said the industrial action could spread to other Dublin local authorities.
Workers in Fingal and South Dublin councils have already balloted for industrial action in support of their Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown colleagues. Dublin City workers are considering taking a similar ballot.
Some 360,000 households in the greater Dublin area avail of a bin collection service from local authorities.