The ongoing concerns of public works employees in Mobile took center stage again Tuesday at the Mobile City Council meeting.
Some employees want the city to address a pay increase, a shortage of workers, and equipment that keeps breaking.
But there's still a communication problem between the two sides.
However, a city council member did come up with an idea he hopes will, at least, get talks started.
Wesley Young, the head of Mobile United Public Service Workers, Incorporated, and David Smith, President of the Mobile County NAACP, made another appearance before the city council, pleading the case for public works employees to get a raise.
Smith said, "It appears the Mayors Office doesn't want to talk at all."
Stimpson administration officials have said the city would not meet with Young because it doesn't engage in collective bargaining with unions.
City Attorney Ricardo Woods said, "We'll be glad to meet with employees. Until now, still to this day, there's not been any request by any employee to meet with the mayor."
Young disputes that.
He said, "That's not true. I took several employees with me to sign up three weeks ago to meet with the mayor. I was included, but there were other city employees."
And after questioning by city council member Joel Daves, Smith said there was another issue employees were concerned about.
Daves said, "If the employees are not coming forward to meet with the mayor, I'm kind of puzzled by that."
Smith, said, "If you follow me. there's a presumed culture of intimidation.".
Just last week, three public works employees were placed on paid administrative leave after it was alleged they threatened their supervisor with bodily harm.
A number of city council members then said they would be open to giving public works employees a raise in next year's budget.
Council Member C.J. Small put forward a proposal he hoped would get talks started between the workers and the administration.
Small said, "If four employees from public works make a request to speak to the administration, is it granted that they will not seek retaliation for meeting with the administration?".
Woods said, "The answer is yes. Mo retaliation. Not from meeting with the mayor. That's ridiculous."
Right now, no meeting between employees and the administration has been scheduled, but we'll keep you posted.
Mayor Stimpson was not at Tuesday's council meeting.
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