Shreveport city worker: "I believe we need representation"

Shreveport city worker: "I believe we need representation"

The local union president says she's ready to fight for workers to get higher pay and better working conditions.
 (Kimberly Rusley)
(Kimberly Rusley)

Local union reps met with Shreveport city workers Wednesday night.

The union president says they're ready to fight for workers to get higher pay and better working conditions.

"I believe we need representation," says Willie Williams, a worker with the SPAR department.

Over two weeks ago, sanitation workers and employees with the water and sewerage department called out sick from work, to bring attention to low pay and poor working conditions, among other complaints.

"They tell us, we ain't got no money, I don't believe them,” says Williams. “We can't find the money? I don't believe them! City councilmen, all of them, I don't believe none of them."

Williams works in the SPAR department and is already a member of the union.

Sanitation workers say they're making $8 to $12 an hour, while private companies in the area are paying up to $18.

Other employees say there pay isn't any better.

"I haven't had a raise since I've been working there," says Luther Waits, who works in the water and sewerage department.

Waits has been in the department for four years, and he says not only is his pay at rock bottom, but so is morale.

"You know the working conditions can be better, equipment could be better,” says Waits. “The morale around there is really down, because of a lot of politicking that go on out on the yard; all that buddy buddy, who know who stuff."

With more city employees coming together, the union president says she's hoping to change.

"Basically this union, it's what the employees have that will fight with them, so we can only do that together," says Sheila Johnson, Local Union President.

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