Support your local garbage man

To the Editor,

Over the last few years I have written letters to the editor expressing the plight of our garbage men. Nothing has changed except for a $2 an hour increase above minimum wage. So, they now make $20,000 a year full time, working the toughest job in the city, and the most dangerous.

One garbage man has already been killed. That is one more than the police and firemen! Besides the hazards of fighting traffic daily, their bodies take a tremendous pounding. So, when it comes time to retire (if they can make it) what kind of pension will they have to look forward to? Social security. How much do you think that will amount to on a salary of $2 above minimum wage? About half of the average of those reading this letter.

What does a city policemen and fireman receive? After 20 years of service at age 50, they can retire at 60 percent of their average salary — for life.

One garbage man already has 20 years serving the city with no end in sight! No health insurance, no overtime pay (didn’t the police just win a lawsuit getting overtime back pay for holidays they didn’t work?), no pension, no health care, no paid holidays, no sick leave, no vacations.

Previously, I suggested the city, in the least, show our appreciation and give the garbage men a Christmas bonus. I was told it is against state law. Yet, Chester had no problem giving its city employees a bonus! The garbage men recently asked again to be hired as “full time employees” (they are full time employees, but the city circumvents the law by hiring them for 1,000 hours and then hiring the same people through a temp agency for the remainder of their full time yearly hours.)

The mayor told them the city did not have the money, even though the city continues to make a profit on garbage collection and has 10 times the budget surplus it had when the plight of the garbage men was first brought to public attention.

The administration turns a deaf ear, and so far the city attorney has turned a blind eye to the city’s blatant circumvention of the federal ERISA law.

Will you turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the unjust plight of our gabage men too? Or will you, unlike council and the city administration, show the garbage men our appreciation for their day-in and day-out service by giving them a little something in an envelope this Christmas to say thank you.

Blaise Hogan