Trash collectors stand in unity at picket line - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Trash collectors stand in unity at picket line

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(WMC-TV) - Sanitation workers with Allied Waste and their parent company, Republic Services, are on strike for the second day.

Now, those workers say some City of Memphis sanitation workers are joining in on the cause.

"Our picket line is up. So really, other workers, people that do what we do, they have to respect the picket line so they're not obligated to cross over the picket line," said Corey Hayes, Teamsters.

Teamsters member Corey Hayes says he appreciates those city workers who stopped and refused to cross the picket line.

"So what they have to do is get out of the truck and let the supervisor take the trash over the picket line," added Hayes.

Hayes says if workers refuse to dump the trash, it can be taken to two alternate sites along Getwell Road or Brooks Road.

AFCSME, which is the union for the city sanitation workers, says the current problem was not caused by the city's solid waste employees. AFCSME says this work should have always been done by full-time employees.

"We'll find one way or another to take care of the citizens of Memphis," said Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad.

Conrad says it is disconcerting to see city workers side with the Teamsters.

"This is what we've come to expect unfortunately from AFCSME," he said. "They continue to put the intent of the Teamsters before the citizens of Memphis."

Conrad says the city can save anywhere from$12 to $20 million dollars by doing things differently when it comes to trash collection.

He says this current Teamsters strike is a way for city workers to step up and prove themselves.

"Why do we continue to let AFCSME dictate how things are going to be done when they side with the Teamsters and not Memphians? That's a mystery to me," said Conrad.

AFCSME says all sanitation work should be brought back under city control. The Memphis City Council will discuss this issue again next month.

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