As striking trash haulers in Montgomery and Howard counties headed into the second week of their strike for fair wages and benefits, they accused their employer, Unity Disposal, of resorting to hiring untrained temporary replacement workers recruited from outside 7-11s, Home Depots, and other area locations to work as “helpers” – the workers who ride on the vehicles and heave garbage and recycling into the back of the trucks...
Sending newly hired helpers out on the trucks without comprehensive safety training, or without adequate safety equipment, would violate Unity Disposal’s contract with Montgomery County, according to LiUNA! Mid-Atlantic Region, the worker’s union.
“The job of a helper on a trash truck is inherently dangerous,” said striking helper Damion West. “We are the ones who ride on the back of the trucks, and we are literally the ones who do most of the heavy lifting, loading tons of trash into the backs of the trucks each day. We are dealing with heavy equipment, moving vehicles, often slippery surfaces, and hydraulic controls that can exert enormous force. If you go out there and attempt to do this job without adequate training, you are just asking for problems.”