Shreveport officials, DPW, union meet to work on solution during - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport officials, DPW, union meet to work on solution during 'sick-out'

Posted: Updated: Aug 18, 2014 04:47 PM
At least 38 employees called out sick, leaving less than half the fleet to go out on their routes. At least 38 employees called out sick, leaving less than half the fleet to go out on their routes.
Trash pick-up for some Shreveport residents will be delayed for at least a day due to the apparent "sick-out." Trash pick-up for some Shreveport residents will be delayed for at least a day due to the apparent "sick-out."
Trash pick up may be delayed for some Shreveport residents. Trash pick up may be delayed for some Shreveport residents.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - City officials and union representatives have hashed out concerns that have led to more than half of Shreveport's DPW workers to stay home from work. 

The meeting was held Monday afternoon with Shreveport Public Works Director Stanley Harris, Chief Operating Officer Dale Sibley and President of Union Local 1325 Sheila Johnson. 

KSLA News 12 was not allowed to sit in on the meeting, but Johnson said it went well. "I basically gave some information as to what are their concerns are, because they didn't know exactly what brought out the call out," said Johnson. 

"This is the first I heard about it when I came to work this morning," said Harris Monday morning. Harris says the employees are entitled to sick days. Harris confirmed that at least 38 employees called out sick, leaving less than half the fleet to go out on their routes.

Johnson confirmed that she has spoken to several of the 38 employees who didn't show up for work. Their complaint reportedly has to do with ongoing issues with city regarding wages and the lack of equipment needed for them to do their jobs.

Johnson said she does not condone what the workers are doing, and she hopes for a quick resolution. "That is my main goal to get these guys back to work," said Johnson. 

Reaction from the community has been mixed.  For Jerry Cooks, a former city sanitation worker,  it doesn't bother him that his trash hasn't been picked up yet. In fact, he supports the garbage collector's cause for calling out sick. 

"I hope they stay out, until they get paid," said Cooks. "They are doing the right thing, they need all of them to do it, not just only 30 of them, they need all of them to go on strike," he said. 

But not all Shreveport residents agree, like Courtney Boynton. "I don't know if going on strike would be the answer, I just don't see where in the long run it is going to help anyone," said Boynton.

City leaders say trash trucks will likely roll through some neighborhoods a day late, while the workers who haven't called out, play catch up. 

It's not known if the call-ins will continue on Tuesday if the issue is not resolved on Monday.

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