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'We're prepared for jail,' say Greyhound workers

Embattled Greyhound workers will find out today if they face jail for breaches of injunctions over alleged "illegal" pickets.

With the strike now in its 13th week, the families of the strikers have spoken of the stress and trauma of the ongoing ordeal and the toll it is taking on their lives.

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Rafal Furmanczyk and daughter Tosia, age 9, Tallaght with Greyhound bins workers march on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Rafal Furmanczyk and daughter Tosia, age 9, Tallaght with Greyhound bins workers march on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Cian Simpson, age 9, Tallght sopporting Greyhound bins workers as they march on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Cian Simpson, age 9, Tallght sopporting Greyhound bins workers as they march on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Lee Reilly, age 9, Coolock with his dad Brendan and other Greyhound bins workers marching on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Lee Reilly, age 9, Coolock with his dad Brendan and other Greyhound bins workers marching on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Lee Reilly, age 9, Coolock with his dad and other Greyhound bins workers marching on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Lee Reilly, age 9, Coolock with his dad and other Greyhound bins workers marching on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

Teresa Reidy (Treasurer B.C.C.) presents the winning trophy to winning owner Gearoid Carmody, Ardfert, after Carmac Cyrus won the Ballyheigue Coursing Club Buster final at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium on Saturday. Included, from left, are William, Eva and Amie Costello, Claire Reidy, Brendan Reidy, Timmy Carmody (trainer), Tom Joe Hayes (B.C.C. Committee Member), Jonathon Best, Shauna, Stacey and Melanie Higgins, Declan Dowling, KGS Sales & Operations Manager, John Mike Sullivan and Seàn Higgins.

Teresa Reidy (Treasurer B.C.C.) presents the winning trophy to winning owner Gearoid Carmody, Ardfert, after Carmac Cyrus won the Ballyheigue Coursing Club Buster final at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium on Saturday. Included, from left, are William, Eva and Amie Costello, Claire Reidy, Brendan Reidy, Timmy Carmody (trainer), Tom Joe Hayes (B.C.C. Committee Member), Jonathon Best, Shauna, Stacey and Melanie Higgins, Declan Dowling, KGS Sales & Operations Manager, John Mike Sullivan and Seàn Higgins.

Denis Walsh Photography

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Rafal Furmanczyk and daughter Tosia, age 9, Tallaght with Greyhound bins workers march on City Hall to protest in support of the workers on strike at Greyhound Bins. Picture:Arthur Carron

The owner of Greyhound Waste Recycling warned that the company could face closure and the loss of 400 jobs after the workers "resoundingly" rejected proposals to accept Labour Court recommendations which included a 30pc pay cut.

Greyhound owner Michael Buckley claimed an "illegal blockade" of the plant was preventing the company from operating.

Nine workers will be before the High Court today facing possible jail terms for breaches of injunctions granted to Greyhound over alleged illegal picketing.

Greyhound said it would be seeking damages and costs from those involved in illegal activity.

However, a spokesman for the workers urged the company to return to talks with a serious offer, and called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene in the dispute.

The spokesman for the workers' families said many were no longer able to pay their mortgages while one young child was so frightened that he vomited when he found out that his parents had received a letter from Greyhound bosses.

Letters were delivered to some of the workers late on Friday or at the weekend in which they were warned that "the blockade of the premises is an illegal activity which is causing damage to the business".

It stated that, under law, the company was entitled to pursue those who caused the damage to a business and to hold them accountable, "which includes seeking financial compensation".

It stated that this could include seeking "attachment orders to property" and "the assets or funds of those responsible".

One spouse of a Greyhound worker, who did not wish to be named, revealed that a courier had attempted to deliver the letter to her home on Friday evening, but she had refused to accept it.

At 7.30pm the following day, a black van arrived at the house and the letter was put into the garden.

She revealed that her son had vomited when he heard his parents talking about the possible loss of the family home.

"My son got physically sick because he heard us talking about it," she said.

The nine-year-old boy had asked: "Mammy, are the guards going to take our house?"

The woman added: "As a mother it was very upsetting.

"I said to him he wasn't to be worrying, Daddy didn't do anything wrong."

She revealed that her parents, who are pensioners, had to help them financially in order to be able to send their three young children back to school.

Audrey O Cinneide, spokeswoman for the families and wife of Greyhound worker Donnacha O Cinneide, described the letters as "an all-time low".

Irish Independent