Categorized | National News

SANITATION WORKERS PROTEST HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS

Employees of Bahamas Waste Limited have registered a litany of complaints on hazardous working conditions which are injurious to their health and safety.

During a Press Conference at The House of Labour, one employes said, “every day we leave the yard at 3am or 5am, we’re at risk. When we pull up to garbage bins, there are rats jumping out at us. When we handle the red hazard trash bags from the hospital, there are needles in those bags with no caps on; anyone of us can get infected if we get stuck.”

 

The frustrated workers said when a group of employees approached the management team of Bahamas Waste in March of last year to address the working conditions, executive management told them that their working conditions are not hazardous, even though employees say that they lack proper safety gear while at work.

Bahamas Waste handles more than a third of all waste produced in New Providence each year and services more than one thousand commercial and residential customers.

Speaking with The Bahama Journal, Bahamas Waste employee Covan Roberts said the men risk their safety and health to keep New Providence clean.

Roberts told the media, “we have the bins we go to; they sometimes have red bags in them. They tell you don’t dump these things; so we don’t dump it; but we don’t know what’s inside of it. It could be needles from us retrieving trash from the hospital.

“Other places we go to have maggots everywhere and you really don’t want to deal with it, especially because they only give you one pair of gloves to work with,” said the sanitation worker.

He indicated that most of the places they visit are very dusty and they are expected to perform their duties without face masks, which aids in further prevention from sickness.

More employees collectively added their inputs, stating that not only have sanitation workers been chased by dogs, but in many incidences they have also gotten bitten.

Sometimes fearful for lives, these workers have been held at gun point, robbed and sometimes have to flee as quick as they can to prevent themselves from getting shot; all while picking up trash.

Aside from the unpleasant conditions the sanitation workers have to endure, there are also cases where they claim that they have not been properly compensated for the services they’ve rendered.

Bahamas General Workers Union President Thomas Bastian is giving support to these employees in their complaints over the hazardous conditions and pay.

He said “the workers at Bahamas Waste are in peril as the company does not respect them. So now we are moving toward a strike vote against Bahamas Waste Limited.”

The strike vote will be held on Friday 15th December at The House of Labour on Wulff Road.

 

 

 

 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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