Randwick garbage truck drivers go on strike


The TWU is helping defend Cleanaway workers who will take action today

Randwick garbage truck drivers go on strike
Cleanaway garbage truck drivers are going on strike again today

Garbage collectors in the Randwick area are taking 24-hour strike action over Cleanaway’s attempts to trash job security protections amid their refusal to agree to a fair dispute resolution process.

As part of ongoing negotiations with its workforce, the company is attempting to remove several key job security protections from the agreement, including minimum rates for labour hire, redundancy entitlements and conversion to permanent employment for labour hire and casuals. 

Cleanaway is also resisting a push from the workers to include a process to resolve disputes with the company.

Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) NSW state secretary Richard Olsen says Cleanaway is treating its own workforce with contempt by attacking their job security and refusing to adopt a fair dispute resolution process.

"Cleanaway were all too happy to do and say whatever they had to in order to win this multi-million-dollar contract from the council, but now that they’ve won it, they have no interest in honouring their commitment to the workers" Olsen says.

"These garbos are asking for the safety net of knowing they have a secure job, and that any dispute they might have with their employer will be decided fairly - I don’t think that’s unreasonable."

Olsen says many of these Cleanaway garbage truck drivers have served the Randwick community for more than a decade.


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Now, the contracting decision that has been out of their hands threatens their working conditions.

"This whole situation underlines the urgent need for legislative reform to guarantee the wages and conditions of waste workers when councils put their contracts up for tender," Olsen says.

Cleanaway took over the contract for Randwick council’s waste collection in March 2021, and under the terms of the tender the company was required to ensure all workers received the same wages and conditions they had under the previous contractor in Suez.

In the 2020-21 financial year, Cleanaway recorded $148 million in profits (up 31 per cent from the previous year).

The TWU says the company’s new CEO was paid a $1.8 million sign-on fee last May, in addition to his $1.4 million salary.

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