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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesDEAL ENDS GARBAGE STRIKE

DEAL ENDS GARBAGE STRIKE

A seven-day strike by trash haulers on St. Croix ended Tuesday after the Turnbull administration offered just less than half of the $2 million it owes the companies.
Four trucking companies – Dan’s Trucking, Bates Trucking and Trash Removal, Paradise Waste Systems and Fergutrax Heavy Equipment – went on strike last week after learning that they wouldn’t be paid because their contracts had yet to be approved by the government. The companies are owed a combined $2 million from last September and as far back as 1995, said James Bates of Bates Trucking.
According to a Government House press release, the Department of Finance issued checks for partial payment to three of the companies for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. Senate President Vargrave Richards said the administration’s offer was $700,000 and contracts through Feb. 29.
Although Dwayne Fergus of Fergutrax couldn’t be reached Tuesday, Bates said Fergus hadn’t received his money from the Finance Department on Tuesday.
"If they don’t pay him by before Tuesday we’re going out on strike again," Bates said.
Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr. said the administration still has to address the millions of dollars owed to garbage haulers throughout the territory for work done between 1995 and 1998 for which there were no contracts. He said the balance owed St. Croix haulers is nearly $1.2 million and dates back to fiscal year 1996.
Gov. Charles Turnbull has put together a negotiating team headed by Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II to work on a resolution for the trash hauling dilemma.
"We recognize that this government has a moral obligation to pay for work for prior years performed in good faith and I am hopeful that a settlement can be achieved within the government’s dire financial constraints," Turnbull said.
Bates, meanwhile, said he and the other contractors are back at work – for now.
"We’re satisfied," he said. "Until Tuesday."

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A seven-day strike by trash haulers on St. Croix ended Tuesday after the Turnbull administration offered just less than half of the $2 million it owes the companies.
Four trucking companies – Dan’s Trucking, Bates Trucking and Trash Removal, Paradise Waste Systems and Fergutrax Heavy Equipment – went on strike last week after learning that they wouldn’t be paid because their contracts had yet to be approved by the government. The companies are owed a combined $2 million from last September and as far back as 1995, said James Bates of Bates Trucking.
According to a Government House press release, the Department of Finance issued checks for partial payment to three of the companies for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. Senate President Vargrave Richards said the administration’s offer was $700,000 and contracts through Feb. 29.
Although Dwayne Fergus of Fergutrax couldn’t be reached Tuesday, Bates said Fergus hadn’t received his money from the Finance Department on Tuesday.
"If they don’t pay him by before Tuesday we’re going out on strike again," Bates said.
Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr. said the administration still has to address the millions of dollars owed to garbage haulers throughout the territory for work done between 1995 and 1998 for which there were no contracts. He said the balance owed St. Croix haulers is nearly $1.2 million and dates back to fiscal year 1996.
Gov. Charles Turnbull has put together a negotiating team headed by Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II to work on a resolution for the trash hauling dilemma.
"We recognize that this government has a moral obligation to pay for work for prior years performed in good faith and I am hopeful that a settlement can be achieved within the government’s dire financial constraints," Turnbull said.
Bates, meanwhile, said he and the other contractors are back at work – for now.
"We’re satisfied," he said. "Until Tuesday."