2003-05-09 / Community

Union: Sanitation Cuts Will Create Chaos

Union: Sanitation Cuts Will Create Chaos

"The budget cuts proposed by Mayor Bloomberg will be a disaster for our residents and our neighborhoods," says an official of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, the union that represents the men and women who work for the New York City Department of Sanitation. "Sanitation workers provide an essential service, just like police and firefighters, and we are already at an all-time low."

According to a union spokesperson, Bloomberg is threatening to lay off more than 600 sanitation workers. According to the union, those cuts translate to garbage collections only once each week on the peninsula (downs from twice a week) and recycling pickups only twice a month rather than each week.

"Residents will have to store their garbage in apartment buildings and in basements for long periods of time," the union rep said. "This will attract rats and other vermin. It will begin to smell, especially during the summer months. In addition, the streets in Rockaway will become dirty."

The layoffs are scheduled to begin on May 17. The once a week pickup schedule will begin on May 19.

"It is incredible that the city is even thinking of laying off sanitation workers, who are the only city workers with a productivity program in place, a program that saves New York City tens of millions of dollars each year," the spokesperson concluded.

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