Nola.com | July 2, 2020 | Anthony Mcauley
Richard’s Disposal, one of the three firms that collect residential garbage in New Orleans, has agreed to bonus payments and other concessions for the workers it contracts to pick up curbside trash, settling one of several labor issues that have recently disrupted garbage collection in the city amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Richard’s “hoppers” workers — so called because they hop on and off the back of the trucks as they empty bins — had demanded extra pay to reflect the additional hazards they face because of the disease outbreak, as well as the fact that fewer of their colleagues are willing to show up to work because of those risks.
David Graber, the union organizer at United Labor Unions Local 100, which has been representing the Richard’s hoppers, said the company agreed last week to start paying the workers an additional $22 hazard pay per shift, bringing their day rate to $125. It has also agreed to clock hoppers onto shifts when they’re picked up by the truck, rather than wait till they’re at the company’s yard, which can mean an hour or so extra per shift plus any weekly overtime rates, Graber said.