(Memphis) Curb sides are a little cleaner in Fox Meadows and Parkway Village, but it took days and some homes are still waiting.
“We have to wash our garbage cans out. It just stinks if it stays in there too long,” says Essie Mobley of Fox Meadows.
Republic Services contracts with the City of Memphis to pick up garbage.
When workers went on strike over pay and benefits, trash started piling up.
City Councilman Harold Collins started getting calls and called for action against Republic and said Wednesday the city might need to take action.
“Fining them everyday that they don’t pick up and do the service or calling the contract into question, we need to do something because people are suffering,” said Collins.
Thursday morning, Republic trucks rolled in and picked up garbage as top city mangers watched.
The company said in a statement it added 65 more drivers and 3 to 4 extra crews to catch up on garbage collections and everything should be back on schedule by this weekend.
But after the second strike by Republic workers this year, Councilman Collins is proposing the city not do business with any company that allows its workers to strike.
He says it goes in line with a referendum passed by Memphis residents years ago that prevents city workers from striking.
“Why would we engage with an organization that allows its employees to strike?” said Collins. “Then place that same burden on the city they voted to prohibit years ago.”
It’s not that easy says Memphis CAO George Little, “To the extent we impose restrictions on private vendors, we reduce choices and increase cost of doing business.”
The Republic strike also appears to be wearing the patience of top managers at city hall.
Top managers even rode the routes themselves Thursday morning to see exactly what is going on.