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Coronavirus news and updates about the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Union Says Charlotte Sanitation Workers Need More Protections

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Steve Harrison
/
WFAE
Dominic Harris of Local UE 150 said the city of Charlotte needs to do more for the people who pick up garbage.

The city of Charlotte has eliminated yard waste pickup and bulky trash pickup.

But Dominic Harris, president of Local UE 150, wants the city to do more for the people who pick up trash.

Harris, who works at Charlotte Water, but who was speaking for solid-waste workers, said Tuesday morning that they have a shortage of protective equipment and should receive hazard pay. He also said the city should put all solid waste workers back on a staggered schedule. 

Harris says too many people are in close proximity in the building and in trucks while on the schedule the city has them on now.

"We should not have to risk our lives because people want their trash collected, because the rich people want their trash collected," Harris said. "We should not have to risk our lives because we have to get a paycheck to work, because we have to get a paycheck to live."

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the city has put some people back on a normal schedule to train them on more modern, automated trucks that use a robotic arm to pick up bins. 

Trucks with crews of two and three people are still on a rotating schedule she says.

Unlike other cities, Charlotte has not offered hazard pay to employees like police officers, bus drivers and solid-waste workers.

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