The Shreveport sanitation workers say they aren’t making enough money for a job they say is dangerous.
They claim their absence from the job is not a political situation, but what they feel is right.
Chris Thomas a Shreveport sanitation worker says,”we just looking for a better opportunity. This job is suppose to be a better equal opportunity job, we just looking for that.”
Those words represent the thought of many Shreveport sanitation workers.
They claim their job is hazardous and the city is not paying them enough.
Thomas says,”we want to have better equipment to work with, we want to have a little bit more money, we just looking for a better opportunity.”
There are 70 sanitation workers for the city, eight of the workers are supervisors.
15 workers called out sick Monday and Tuesday of this week causing a back up in trash pick up.
“We have a plan B and I want the citizens to know that their garbage will be picked up today,” Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler says she has given the workers two pay raises in four years,”those who are making less than ten dollars an hour they’ve gotten two raises, for those who make over ten dollars an hour, I gave them a five percent raise and made sure they actually saw the raise.”
Tyler says because of extra resources from the city, the workers didn’t have to pay an increase to their healthcare insurance for two years.
Tyler says this whole situation is politically motivated.
“I was disappointed in the fact that the report that I received said that one of my opponents supporters actually went and came on our facility and told the workers that they should take off ill and you know that’s unacceptable,”said Mayor Tyler.
But the sanitation workers say it’s not.
Thomas says,”what we’re doing totally not political. It has nothing to do with the election, what we doing is standing up for ourselves we just speaking out for equal pay that’s all we want.”
Tyler’s opponent in Saturdays’ runoff election, Adrian Perkins did meet with the workers this morning at Betty Virginia Park.
It came after one of the sanitation workers reached out to his camp.
Perkins’ campaign says he agreed to meet with the workers and discuss their concerns, but he did not know anything about any rally or strike or shutdown.
Mayor Tyler says she is disappointed any of this happened.
“Politic’s should never be a priority when it comes to serving our citizens, I would never do that I think it is, um, you know I just think it’s wrong and I think it’s unprofessional.”
The city has a policy on sick leave that after two-days an employee must produce a doctor’s note, that’s why many came back to work today.
City CAO Brian Crawford told me several of those sanitation workers walked out of a meeting today addressing the make-up work.
Crawford says they will be charged with sick leave abuse, job abandonment and are subject to termination.