Castries sanitation workers went on strike Monday morning, leaving the capital strewn with uncollected garbage.
Over 70 workers are said to be involved in the industrial action.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) confirmed the strike in an interview with St Lucia Times.
“We have a situation where most of our workers – our sanitation workers to be precise, have decided that they are not going to be working this morning,” Pierre explained.
“This is an essential service and what we have found out is that we cannot get a reason,” he said.
The CCC official suggested that when the council gets in touch with the union that represents the Castries sanitation workers, the reason for Monday’s action will be known.
The strike comes on the heels of weekend activities in observance of this country’s 41st anniversary of independence.
“We would not have left the area, especially on the Waterfront in the mess that it was in because there was a big activity there,” Pierre told St Lucia Times.
He observed that as a result, the CCC deployed some of its employees from the Castries market to start cleaning up the area.
Pierre raised health concerns in relation to the strike by the sanitation workers.
At the time he spoke, he asserted that the employees had already done “quite a bit.”
“We could not allow the streets to be like that,” he stated.
Asked whether the action by the Castries sanitation workers was linked to salary negotiations, Pierre said the CCC did provide the workers with an increase.
However he noted that this had an impact on the council.
“It really affected us quite a bit. But we did provide the workers with an increase in salaries. There is still a six percent that is required and we are still having discussion on that,” he noted.
“But we have done a lot of things for these workers. The workers have been – I mean, look at what we have done for them. We had a situation where workers were never recognised and what the Mayor did was to have an award ceremony which cost us quite a bit to honour some of these workers,” Pierre recalled.
He declared that the CCC provided uniforms for the workers.
“When they have issues they come to us and we try our best to see how we can assist them,” Pierre told St Lucia Times.