Shreveport Mayor Accuses Opponent Political ‘Trash Talk’
Early this morning, sources suggest that the Shreveport Public Works Department could be dealing with some form or strike, or walkout. The concern centered around trash collection in the city for this week. Apparently there were large sections of the city who's trash was not collected on time this week. That coupled with rumblings from the Public Works Department suggested a potential movement with employees.
While we started to investigate the potential strike/walkout, a press release was sent out from the office of Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler addressing this exact situation.
The press release reads:
"City Garbage collection scheduled for Tuesday of this week was not completed by the end of the day yesterday and will be collected today. Wednesday, which is not a regularly scheduled pick-up day, is traditionally a catch-up day for any outstanding residence.
All pickups are expected to be back on schedule by the end of today. Some employees called in sick and did not show up for work earlier this week, causing a shortage of trucks to be in use for Tuesday’s collection.
Public Works Management believes these actions were encouraged and politically motivated.
“I appreciate the majority of dedicated Solid Waste employees who did show up for work this week and demonstrated that public service is a priority over politics,” said Mayor Ollie Tyler. “When outside politics begin to affect city operations and our quality of life, those responsible are not in keeping with the best interest of our community.”
Public Works Management has been directed to deal with this issue in accordance with personnel policy."
The release from the Mayor's Office downplayed the suggestion of any kind of strike or walkout, and pointed the finger in the direction of her political opponent, Adrian Perkins.
Mayor Tyler faces Perkins in this weekend's mayoral runoff election, and her office has suggested that the election is the reason for this week's disruption in trash collection.
In an article from the Shreveport Times, City officials say that an employee wearing a shirt of Tyler's opponent has been stirring up controversy with various departments. According to the Times article from writer Nick Wooten, there were over a dozen city employees who called off this week, keeping more than ten garbage trucks from hitting the streets.
Wooten and the Times also spoke with Perkins, who denied any involvement in the situation, and called the scenario "crazy".
Another potential reason for the turbulence with the Public Works Department is the proposed 2019 city budget. Inside the budget, there are double-digit cuts to various parts of the Public Works Department, including to Solid Waste. The perception of those cuts could be leading to concerns among city employees.