Workers strike over pay, equipment issues

By Katherine Kington - email | Twitter

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -  If you live in Russell County you may have noticed your trash has not been picked up.

Some sanitation workers say they didn't go to work today because they're upset about their paychecks and lack of equipment.

The supervisor over the Russell County sanitation workers came to work this morning to find an empty building...except for a note on the front door that said they would not return until changes were made.

The employees tell News Leader Nine they are upset because of low pay and work conditions. The Russell County sanitation workers say faulty equipment makes their jobs harder.

"We have two trucks that are running and have working air conditioning in them. The other trucks do not." Says employee Rick Smith.

Rick Chancey is the Attorney for Russell County Utilities which covers Russell County trash.

He says all the trucks have air conditioning and this is the first the supervisor and the General Manager has heard of the unhappiness.

"The supervisor has not expressed any of these concerns to the director. This letter is the 1st he's heard of these issues, so I'm sure these will be matters that will be taken up with their supervisors in the year." Said Chancey

Smith, one of the employees who did not go into work today says there are no ill feelings towards their supervisor or Russell County. "To let them know how important we are to the community, the county and how valuable our jobs really are is why we should be getting paid more."

While the two parties wait and see how this will turn out...neighbors are left with their trash...piling high.

"Well it's bad you feel bad for them but what am I supposed to do with my trash. I mean I don't know any dumpsters where to take them too or anything like that and I don't have a pickup truck to stick it in the back." Said Amber Delacruz who lives in a neighborhood affected by the conflict.

"The employees say they will not return until an agreement is met, Smith says Russell County unemployment pays more than their 40 hours work week."

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