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HomeNewsArchivesST. CROIX TRASH HAULERS THREATEN STRIKE

ST. CROIX TRASH HAULERS THREATEN STRIKE

St. Croix garbage haulers Tuesday threatened to stop picking up trash for the Department of Public Works starting Wednesday because of money owed and a lack of communication.
Paradise Waste Systems, Dan’s Trucking and Bates Trucking pick up roll-on-roll-off trash bins and house-to-house trash for Public Works. But the owners of the companies said that recent unilateral decisions by the government to cut house-to-house trash pick up to one day a week on top of nearly $1 million owed for work already done is forcing them to protest.
Last week Public Works announced that because of budget shortfalls, it was cutting trash to areas with house-to-house garbage pick up from two days a week to one. That decision, said Lloyd Daniel of Dan’s Trucking, was made without input from haulers.
"They haven’t really spelled out how that is going to happen," he said. "They haven’t said how it will affect the contract."
James Bates of Bates Trucking said cutting pick up to one day a week doesn't mean people will cut back on the amount of trash they produce. So his crews will be doing more work in less time.
If the haulers stop picking up the government’s trash Wednesday it won’t be the first time. Because of a lack of payment stretching back five years, haulers stopped working and trash started piling up around the island.
But Gary Thomas of Paradise Waste Systems said that promises made to haulers nine months ago by the government to get them back on the job haven’t been made. The government is in arrears about $1 million, the haulers said.
"To date, we haven’t been paid owed money," Thomas said. "I haven’t been paid for agreements entered into nine months ago."
In addition to halting garbage pick up earlier this year, trash haulers struck twice in the summer of 1999 to get paid for work dating back to 1995. That stoppage ended after Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James appropriated approximately $420,000 and arranged new hauling contracts.
Public Works officials couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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St. Croix garbage haulers Tuesday threatened to stop picking up trash for the Department of Public Works starting Wednesday because of money owed and a lack of communication.
Paradise Waste Systems, Dan’s Trucking and Bates Trucking pick up roll-on-roll-off trash bins and house-to-house trash for Public Works. But the owners of the companies said that recent unilateral decisions by the government to cut house-to-house trash pick up to one day a week on top of nearly $1 million owed for work already done is forcing them to protest.
Last week Public Works announced that because of budget shortfalls, it was cutting trash to areas with house-to-house garbage pick up from two days a week to one. That decision, said Lloyd Daniel of Dan’s Trucking, was made without input from haulers.
"They haven’t really spelled out how that is going to happen," he said. "They haven’t said how it will affect the contract."
James Bates of Bates Trucking said cutting pick up to one day a week doesn't mean people will cut back on the amount of trash they produce. So his crews will be doing more work in less time.
If the haulers stop picking up the government’s trash Wednesday it won’t be the first time. Because of a lack of payment stretching back five years, haulers stopped working and trash started piling up around the island.
But Gary Thomas of Paradise Waste Systems said that promises made to haulers nine months ago by the government to get them back on the job haven’t been made. The government is in arrears about $1 million, the haulers said.
"To date, we haven’t been paid owed money," Thomas said. "I haven’t been paid for agreements entered into nine months ago."
In addition to halting garbage pick up earlier this year, trash haulers struck twice in the summer of 1999 to get paid for work dating back to 1995. That stoppage ended after Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James appropriated approximately $420,000 and arranged new hauling contracts.
Public Works officials couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.