Memphis Sanitation Workers Not On Strike, But Say They’re Being Threatened
(Memphis) Striking Republic Services workers have been stationed outside city landfills since they went on strike April 16th over pay and benefits.
“We did the most dangerous job in the U.S. and we simply are not respected for that,” says Shaka Khalphani with the Teamsters 984.
City of Memphis sanitation workers say they are feeling the effects of this walk-out and they are not the ones striking.
The union representing them claims protestors threaten violence if anyone crosses the picket line and the city is warning about pink slips if they don’t.
“That’s on the table right now. People being threatened with termination if they don’t pass the picket line and ignore their concerns of their health and safety,” says Chad Johnson, Executive Director of AFSCME Local 1733.
Memphis CAO George Little says security is in place and no one has been threatened.
City workers are expected to do their jobs which includes dumping trash at the landfill.
If they don’t, they will face discipline.
Striking workers also say they’ve threatened no one crossing their picket line.
“People come to the landfill undisturbed. No one has challenged anyone. I don’t know where that info as far as threats, don’t know where they are coming from,” says Khalphani.
“These people are telling folks, hey guess what, I know where you live. Guess what, we see each other all the time. Guess what, I know your momma. They are being confronted not at the landfill in plain sight,” says Johnson.
Republic says it has brought on relief workers and should be caught up with trash pick-up by this weekend.
Striking workers we talked to doubt that will happen.
They say there is just too much work to do.
They predict when the strike ends, there will still be plenty to catch up on.