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Strike hits home

Friday, 27th June, 2014

Democratic Club chef Mathew Boswell throws rubbish in the back of a ute after the rubbish bin was left unemptied due to the strike. Democratic Club chef Mathew Boswell throws rubbish in the back of a ute after the rubbish bin was left unemptied due to the strike.

By Erica Visser

City Council will pay contractors to collect garbage after 150 workers voted to strike indefinitely on Wednesday night.

Yesterday, bins were left unemptied and many of Council’s services were suspended. 

The strike also meant that management was left answering phones at Council’s administration office.

Council’s general manager Therese Manns said that Council had strived to provide as many services as possible despite the lack of staff. 

“There have been limited services, there have been interruptions but we’ve tried our best,” she said.

“I’d like to thank the staff that did come to work today. It’s certainly reflective of the fact there’s a job to get done.

“I’d also like to thank the community and business houses for their support.”

Ms Manns said that the Broken Hill Airport, the Living Desert, public toilets and the depot were among utilities that would be open this morning.

However, the Visitors Information Centre will remain closed and animal control would “certainly be limited”.

Ms Manns told residents whose garbage was due for collection yesterday to leave their bins out.

“We have put plans in place so that there will be garbage collection in the morning, with some collection also starting tonight.

“...As long as our staff remain on strike we will continue to use contractors.”

Meanwhile, Willyama High School students were worried last night’s annual concert would be cancelled after they were locked out of the Civic Centre yesterday morning.

“I’m always worried. We’ve been locked out for 40 minutes where we should be rehearsing,” head music teacher Velko Gavranich said.

But management soon arrived to let the hundreds of students in and the concert went ahead last night.

Lifeline’s secondhand store was forced to close for the business day as was the waste depot, which reopened at 1pm.

“We will just have to wait it out like everybody else,” Lifeline Manager Scott Hammond said yesterday.

“It surprised us, like everyone else in the community. No one communicated with us. We found out when we read it in the paper.”

Mr Hammond said that the strike made it timely to remind the community about the organisation’s free counselling service.

“It’s obviously a difficult time for everybody that’s involved. As far as the impact on our shop, it’s very minimal, but it’s a timely reminder to all people involved that Lifeline does provide a counselling service.

“They can contact us on 8087 7525 and if they’re needing some financial counselling they can call the same number.”

The after hours number is 13 11 14.

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