Hattiesburg sanitation employees return to work - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg sanitation employees return to work

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg sanitation workers were back on the job this morning (Thursday) after two days of calling in sick.

In all, 36 workers called in sick Wednesday, and a few less on Tuesday.

City leaders had to pick up the slack by calling in extra help, and in many places trash cans are still waiting along the curb.

There was speculation of a strike since the sanitation workers protested the city in 2008 because of low pay. But a sanitation representative met with City Spokesman John Brown Thursday morning, assuring there was no strike.

Brown said it was odd for such a large group to call in sick two days in a row and added the workers will be required to bring in a doctor's note to verify sickness, which some have.

Other workers who showed up this morning were told they could return home if they needed.

"A lot of us been sick, and a lot of us didn't want to get sick," said Arturo Sanchez. "We're not on strike because we love the public and we love our jobs."

Sanchez added, "As far as the dollar thing, yeah, we've all been trying to get them to give us a couple of dollars because we aren't making ends meet, but we've got to have our jobs and we've got to deal with what we've got."

Brown said, "We cannot jeopardize city services, and we have to look at this because we had two thirds of the work force call in sick two days in a row."

Continued service should not be interrupted, and Brown said disciplinary action could be possible.    

©2009 WDAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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