|Issue No 63||21 July 2000|
Garbos Forced to Ditch Early Start
By Scott Connolly
Waste workers in Sydney's south are bucking up over plans to force them to start their garbage runs later in the day - claiming it will make the work more dangerous.
Currently the workers, members of the Transport Workers Union, commence at 4.00am. But a new contract commencing this week between Hurstville Council and Cleanaway Waste Peakhurst puts the starting time back to 7.00am.
While the council's position is that it is an issue of noise for residents in the early mornings, for the workers it's an issue of health and safety to both themselves and members of the general public.
They say it will increase the dangers for runners on residential streets during early the early morning peak period.
"In short we believe the choice is one between minimal noise in the early morning one day a week and the serious injury or fatality of a garbage worker, resident, or worse still a school child," TWU state secretary Tony Sheldon says.
At present there is a moratorium in place at all other councils on any change in starting times until a full risk assessment of any change for the health, safety and traffic delays is conducted for both residents and waste workers.
The TWU is arguing that this should be the case at Hurstville as well. Currently, TWU members are refusing to work in accordance with the new contract and are still working the early morning starts.
Despite two attempts to force their compliance in the Industrial Relations Commission, yesterday the Commission acknowledged our concerns and declined to force the issue.
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