SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport DPW workers disgruntled with city officials over pay and working conditions will head back to work Wednesday after a two-day "sick-out," according to their union president. But not everyone appears to be on board with that plan.
The sick-out involving more than half of the solid waster workers in the City of Shreveport's Public Works Department began Monday when 38 public works employees called in sick.
On Tuesday, 32 called in sick, and some of them gathered at Hattie Perry Park to meet with community leaders and city council members to talk about their concerns.
"I think the mayor and the city council ought to do something right away," said NAACP chapter president, Loyd Thompson.He was at the park meeting with employees and could be heard telling them that the NAACP was there to help them.
The sides are still in conflict, and some employees at the park meeting disagreed with Union Local 1325 President Sheila Johnson's claim.
They want better pay and working conditions.
"And then we work from 6:45 in the morning to 7 o'clock at night," said Randall Burr, a truck driver for the city.
"See, that's all we're addressing," says public works employee Troy Sumlin. "You see, they don't recognize us at all. This is our concerns. All we want them to do is sit down and talk to us, come to a reasonable agreement."
Thompson told KSLA News 12 that he was trying to get a sense of what they can do to help get the men back to work.
Some of the employees say the protest could end Tuesday, with a return to work Wednesday, but others say no final decision has been made. Some say they will go back to work, but others say they won't.
Meanwhile, trash in parts of the city remains on the curb, as the remaining crews work to compensate for the reduced staffing. Shreveport Public Works Director Stanley Harris has said the employees are entitled to sick days, and will be paid for them.