A three-day strike by dust-cart drives in Rome caused huge piles of stinking refuse to mount up in the city's streets over the weekend.
A three-day strike by dust-cart drives in Rome caused huge piles of stinking refuse to mount up in the city's streets over the weekend. The drivers were taking industrial action in support of a pay claim.
The refuse began piling up on Saturday morning, and the humid weather made the situation much worse. In several areas the combination of heat and moisture produced a stench from the rubbish, and there were fears that the litter could start epidemics if it was not moved.
The strike had started on Saturday (22 June), when the authorities refused to increase the drivers' salaries to the same level as those received by the 876 garbage men who had worked for private collection firms until they were taken over by the City Corporation last year. The garbage men had agreed to work for the City on the understanding that their previous salaries would be maintained. This took several months to be approved and eventually went into effect recently.
The other dustmen on the City's pay-roll demanded that their salaries be raised accordingly. Union representatives and city officials met on Monday to try to reach a settlement.
On Tuesday, the dustmen decided to return to work, nad they began the long job of clearing away the rotting refuse. Monday's meeting between the union representatives and the authorities had apparently reached agreement.
Because of the stench, many people had set fire to rubbish, but nevertheless it was expected t be several days before all the refuse would be cleared away.
SYNOPSIS: Rubbish piled up in the streets of Rome over the weekend because of the strike by dust-cart drivers. They had stopped work on Saturday over a pay claim, and the aggravation caused by the uncollected litter, was increased by the hot and humid whether. The combination of heat and moisture caused the refuse to give off a very unpleasant stench.
There were even fears that the rubbish might cause epidemics if it was not quickly moved. The drivers' action was prompted by the refusal of the City authorities to increase there salaries to bring them into line with eight hundred and seventy-six garbage men who had entered the City's service last years.
The garbage men had previously worked for private collecting firms, but when the City Corporation took them over, it was agreed that the men should work for the same salaries -- significantly more than the wages earned by the City's existing dustmen. On Monday, union officials and City officials met to work out a settlement. They apparently succeeded, because on tuesday the men returned to work and the long job of clearing the stinking rubbish form the streets began.
Because of the stench, may people had sat fire to the rubbish, but nevertheless it will take several days to clear what remains in the streets of Rome.