Open letter to Greyhound from People Before Profit Councillors, (Brid Smith, Gino Kenny and Nicky Coules)

greyhound_workersGreyhounds recent press statement in two local Clondalkin papers (Gazette & The Echo) published 31st July was incriminating, misleading and defamatory.

On July 28th PBP Alliance held a solidarity picket at Crag Avenue Clondalkin, to protest at the use of scab labour by Greyhound, and at the continuing mistreatment of its striking workers. Those who attended included PBP councillors, as named above, and a number of residents from the local community.

Greyhound may not agree with our protest or our right to protest, and they have a right to make a statement, and to disapprove. However, their response in the media insinuated that this protest was linked to a spate of criminal attacks on Greyhound trucks involving armed masked men. It is our opinion that Greyhound used Cllr Kenny’s arrest to deliberately discuss alleged criminal activity, so as to incriminate supporters of the strikers, the workers on strike, and PBP Alliance. It must be noted Cllr Kenny was arrested for blocking a truck, and released without charge. Greyhounds’ response when asked about the protest was to call on SIPTU to condemn a spate of criminal attacks on Greyhound trucks and to control its striking members.

Greyhound clearly diverted from giving opinion or a response to the July 28th protest, and instead emphasised alleged intimidation and criminality throughout their statement. Although they do not clarify or state protesters on July 28th were linked to criminal attacks, their emphasis on discussing such matters was insinuating. We believe the public reading their statement in the press would have linked protesters to the alleged criminal attacks.

Greyhound also claimed that two protesters on July 28th “spat copiously” into the face of a young man attempting to enter the Greyhound depot. This accusation is false, and is defamatory of all those present on the protest. PBP Alliance has spoke to all persons who attended the protest and no one spat at anyone, and no one saw any such incident. Greyhounds solicitor along with two other men photographed and recorded the protest, they also have cameras on their premises. We are asking that they produce evidence of this incident. We are also asking they clarify publicly that PBP Alliance, and all those present on July 28th are not linked to any campaign of intimidation or criminal attacks on their trucks.

As the local elected representatives who called and attended the solidarity protest we feel it is necessary that people wanting to support and stand with the Greyhound strikers are not tarnished as criminals. We also have confirmation from the workers that no criminal activity or intimidation has occurred at Crag Avenue or Knockmitten depots at anytime while they have been on picket, by them, or any supporters. Greyhound may not agree with the strikers or anyone supporting them on the picket, but this does not give them a right to incriminate or defame persons.

Yours sincerly
Cllr Brid Smith,
Cllr Gino Kenny
Cllr Nicky Coules

Contact Nicky Coules 0868532326