SYDNEY – The union representing three groups of municipal workers in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says the new ‘five days a week’ landfill use policy doesn’t seem to apply to private contractors.
Just last month, the Solid Waste Department sent out a memo to ‘Residents and Commercial Customers’ explaining that as of November 2, 2014, “all solid waste management sites will operate five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday.” But CUPE National Representative Wanda Power says, “We now find out that CBRM is still allowing private contractors in on Mondays. If this was supposed to be a cost-cutting measure, why is it only applying to residents and the CBRM’s own staff?” “We’ve had reports of 13 trucks on one Monday and 11 on another, since the November 2nd change was supposed to have been in place,” says Power.
CUPE Local 759 President Kevin Ivey, whose local represents approximately 35 employees at the landfill site, says, “These workers had their schedules and their lives shifted around with the Tuesday to Saturday schedule. But now they see that the rules are only applying to certain parties. When CBRM employees empty the street litter bins on a Monday, for example, they can’t even drop that off now until Tuesday. Meanwhile, when residents want to use the landfill on a Monday, after the weekend, they get turned away,” says Ivey. “We’ve asked the employer for a firm date on when this practice will end, but they’re refusing to give us one.”
CUPE members at CBRM are outside workers in Local 759, inside workers in Local 933 and crossing guards in Local 761.