BY ALEX DEGRAND
The city will hold a meeting to discuss wages and working conditions of Lexington’s sanitation workers at a time some charge will keep sanitation workers from being there.
A council subcommittee will meet 3:30 p.m. August 3, 2000 in the fifth floor conference room of the Government Center.
Sanitation worker David Sams complained the meeting time will effectively shut out many of his fellow workers because they work second jobs at that hour. Sanitation workers need second jobs because their city employment pays so little, Sams said.
“If you set up a meeting to resolve problems for a group of people, shouldn’t you make sure those people can be there?” asked Sams who said he will attend although he’ll lose money at his other job. “An evening meeting time would be better.”
Sams hasn’t been waiting for the city to take up the issue. He has been addressing a number of groups including Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to make the case for improving salaries that start at $8.26 an hour.
“In the past, each time [sanitation workers] stand up to better provide for their families, [the city] threatens to privatize the service,” Sams said.
By speaking to citizen groups, Sams said he wants to “make the public aware of the human side of the issue; that if privatization can get the job done cheaper, it still comes at the expense of someone.”
“Quit looking at us as garbage workers; we’re human beings,” Sams said .
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An account has been created for injured sanitation workers like Glen Davis who was hit in the head by a pipe last month while on the job.
Sanitation worker David Sams set up the “General Support for Sanitation Workers” account at Bank One. The public is encouraged to make donations.
“The fund is to support workers when all other resources are gone,” Sams said. “When I hurt my back, I couldn’t work my second job and I only got two-thirds of my salary [from the city], but the bills kept coming. I went through my savings and had to sell furniture and eventually the house.”
Sams said he has put $100 of his own money into the fund.
“I challenge the city council members to make a donation,” Sams said. “We all work for city government; help your fellow workers.” – ADG
Back off, man! She’s