The union representing waste and recycling workers in Greymouth is asking hard questions of the Grey District Council after the council’s waste and recycling workers were forced to re-apply for their jobs after a contract change.
This year Smart Environment took over Greymouth’s waste and recycling contract from the Australian contractor Subloos.
“Grey District Council is paying the same fee to Smart Environment as it paid to Subloos, yet workers are earning less with Smart Environment than they were with Subloos,” said FIRST Union Southern Secretary Paul Watson.
Under the new contract with Smart Environment workers lost accrued sick pay, service leave, redundancy pay entitlement and in some cases their wages were reduced by $114.00 per week. Everyone was put on a 90-day trial as well, with one worker losing his job before the 90-day trial period was up.
“Not only that, but when the contract changed hands from Subloos to Smart Environment workers were forced to re-apply for their jobs.”
“The whole model is broken,” said Watson.
“The Grey District Council should bring waste and recycling back in-house. It’s the best way to ensure workers have job security. We’ve seen with contractors that not only are workers forced to re-apply for their jobs when the contractor changes, but those same contractors put downward pressure of wages and conditions.”
“This isn’t a good thing for the community,” said Watson.
“The workers aren’t feeling good, especially our member who was dismissed on his 90-day trial. He and his family are absolutely gutted at this dismissal and are left wondering why after four years of an unblemished employment record with Subloos he’s now been sacked.”