Sanitation leaders dispel rumors of strike, say trash pickup on schedule

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Leaders with the city’s sanitation workers’ union are dispelling rumors of an upcoming sanitation strike.

According to a flyer that has been going around, some workers are upset about having to work this weekend to keep the trash pickup schedule on time after the MLK holiday Monday.

The flyer suggests they may walk out on Saturday.

The union representing the workers said a work stoppage has not been authorized, meaning anyone who does walk out could get in trouble.

“Their trash will be picked up on Saturday,” said Gail Tyree, executive director of AFSCME. “We’re not really concerned that there’s going to be a strike. You have to remember some people make a lot of noise, but we know that to have a strike that’s unsanctioned is against the city ordinance, and it’s definitely against our agreement with the city of Memphis.”

WREG spoke with Maurice Spivey, a sanitation worker who spoke out at the most city council meeting. Spivey said employees will be holding a press conference on Friday afternoon to clarify their position.

He assured us, there is no work stoppage planned, as any strike is prohibited in a city ordinance adopted back in 1978.

While declining to go into specifics, he also said workers have been communicating with public officials, including Mayor Strickland.

The AFSCME is optimistic that the disgruntled and vocal sanitation workers do not represent their majority.

In the meantime, city leaders reportedly have emergency garbage crews on standby.

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