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Letter to the Editor: Operation "Optimization Disaster"

A rebuttal to a July 6, 2017 article.
Letters to the editor

To the editor:

This is a rebuttal to the July 6/2017 article put in by the city's waste and recycle management team.

Oh yeah and an "unnamed source", in other words, some coward who wouldn't put his or her name to inappropriate statements and lies about sanitation workers.

We the sanitation workers feel we need to set the record straight.

First off we had absolutely nothing to do with management's optimization program. From the inception of re-routing our routes to cutting the public back to two items and charging the public $2 for the third item. The sanitation workers want it to be perfectly clear that we would rather the public be allowed thre items as it was before.

Also keep our routes the same as before July 3. City council along with the waste and recycle team cut one of our nine trucks out and expected the sanitation workers to shoulder the brunt of the extra work, which is not possible with eight truck the as last Tuesday and Wednesday proved. Hence the reason your garbage was picked up late or not at all.

So basically eight trucks expected to do what nine used to do. We had absolutely no input into this program, management wouldn't listen to us when we tried to tell them this was going to be a disaster. These cutbacks were not mandatory!! Individuals in Waste and Recycle Management took it upon themselves with the blessing of their Supervisors and City council to cut the truck without any considerable study or any feedback from the men that do the job.

A directive came down to all Depts. in the city an unnamed source told me to see if their was any room to cutback.Your looking in the wrong place. As I write this we currently have the ninth truck back into our fleet helping to pick up garbage, but only for a undetermined period while city council and management scramble trying to figure out what their next move is to fix this optimization re-routing dismal failure.

Now i want to clear up some statements that are lies and non factual of how we do business. An unnamed source says and i quote " garbage collectors have started to refuse to take any trash that deviates from the standards set in place by the municipality." I'm assuming their talking about enforcing the bylaws that we are required by city council and waste and recycle management to enforce as frontline workers.

So this unnamed source is upset that were just doing our job that we are instructed to do. Not sure if this unnamed source has a job but if you do i'm sure your required to listen to your employer and do as they tell you to do or risk being disciplined for not carrying out you duties as asked by your employer.

The unnamed source goes on to state that we dump our loads more frequently. Well ya your absolutely right , were picking up far more garbage now than we used to. Hence the reason were dumping more frequently. I think this one is self explanatory. One other thought to that , we risk being fined and putting our license in jeapordy if we have too much weight on the truck by the M.T.O.

This unnamed source goes on to state that "we won't work through our lunch and coffee breaks to speed up the process". You obviously have no idea why breaks are a part of the working stiff's day. We work hard. We deserve a break just like the office worker or anybody else in the working field. Our office is a truck cab. We need to be able to get out and use a washroom at times maybe get a time out of the harsh elements cold and heat. Eating a hot meal in the winter. Those kinds of things, you know basic needs.

Another idiotic statement by this unnamed source

"They also have been putting in for overtime. This one is my favourite. Management is asking us to work overtime because we can't possibly pick up all the extra garbage that has been given to us during regular work hours since they cut the truck. It's simple we work overtime to get the customers garbage off the road at whatever time it is trying to give the public the service that they deserve. But make no mistake, management is requesting we work. We don't just approach our employer and say "Hey I think ill work some overtime tonight dude," and then line my pockets with taxpayer's money.

In closing we the sanitation workers would like nothing more than for city council and the waste and recycle Management team to reverse this horrendous decision to try and "Optimize" Thunder Bays way of collecting garbage. We feel it worked prior to July 3 and would love to work with city council and Waste and recycle Management in restoring a winning formula we had prior to July 3 to give the residents back the service they deserve."

If It ain't broke, don't fix it.

John Reid,
Thunder Bay

Editor's note: The unnamed source who provided the information is in fact a sanitation worker.