Protestors picket Hattiesburg Department of Public Services

A group of protestors gathered Thursday in front of the Hattiesburg Department of Public Services.

The Hattiesburg residents and city sanitation workers said they were upset over treatment of the city's black population.

Protestors said the city is ignoring problems on Hattiesburg's east side when it comes to creosote contamination in the ground water. Sanitation workers added they believe the city is also ignoring their pleas for help when it comes to a pay raise in their department, where the starting pay is $8 an hour.

The grop advocates a change in leadership; the department is currently led by Bennie Sellers.

"We've had protests before in the city and that's a right to every resident, so it doesn't surprise us," said City Spokeperson John Brown. "They're voicing concerns that they have voiced before in the past, and we have heard those requests and tried to react to that through the Mayor and the city council, funding tests and looking at bettering our services to the residents."

Picketers said more of these protests will be organized and carried out until the city implements a plan of action to suit their desires.