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Shreveport sanitation workers call out sick to protest working conditions
By Christian Henson | firstname.lastname@example.org
38 sanitation workers called in sick today and Public Works Director, Stan Harris says that could put them a day behind.
"We put out somewhere between 35 to 40 trucks a day and now we're only able to put out 14." Harris said.
Troy Sumlin has worked in the Solid Waste Department for 11 years and says they didn't come in to work today because they wanted to air their grievances with the city.
Sumlin says "We have been overlooked, disrespected, and everything that we've asked for has been ignored."
Sanitation workers in Shreveport say they are making 8 to 12 dollars an hour while private companies in the area are paying up to 18.
"We want to be on a competitive pay scale with the private companies and those who are luring our drivers away," Sumlin said "because right now we've got 23 vacancies."
They also want collection trucks to be repaired but Harris says thats not in the budget.
"We are down several trucks. We need about 18 new trucks," Harris said "but that's following the normal budgeting process were we actually request an equipment package."
But Sumlin and the other protesters say they could find the money if it was a priority.
Sumlin says "They say there's no money in the budget but we come to find out that 600,000 dollars was found to buy two street sweepers with a 6 man crew."
Jerry Greene has worked for the solid waste department for almost 15 years and says he is ready to fight for vital changes to the solid waste department.
"Whatever's necessary for us to do to get our point across that's what what we're gonna do," said Greene "If we have to do this again we'll do this again. We're fully committed to upgrading solid waste."