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Local union holds protest ahead of Columbia State of the City address


Ahead of Wednesday's State of the City address, a protest was held outside City Hall by LiUNA Local 955, an area union representing workers for the City of Columbia and other area workers.

Workers were handing out papers detailing why they were protesting, including discussions about contracts for city workers. This comes as recent city services such as recycling pick up being suspended and combined bus routes being enacted.

When asked about pay negotiations between the City and union workers, City Manager De'Carlon Seewood said the city was not allowed to share any details. LiUNA representative Andrea Hutchinson said the current city proposals would involves a pay decrease for solid waste and recycling workers.

"The city's current proposal, would cut recycling and solid waste residential pick up,  which is who picks up our trash and recycling, their current proposal would cut wages by about $5.87 an hour on average for those workers," Hutchinson said.

During the State of the City, Seewood said employees keep Columbia running and spoke to how the City plans help attract and retain city workers. He shared how the switch to automated trash collection would allow the city to keep the staff they do have while ensuring better working conditions for them.

"Salary alone is not going to be the thing that is going to keep your employees, it's the working conditions. It's how do we make sure our employees feel welcome," Seewood said.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Isabella Roberts


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