How to get rid of the harbors garbage: ‘No garbage trucks’
HARBOR FALLS, N.J. — It’s been a long haul for Robert Mays, but he has finally found a way to get to the garbage trucks that collect the trash that is being dumped into New Jersey’s ports.
The 40-year-old truck driver from Port Washington, N,J., said the garbage truck drivers union has threatened to cut him off from his pay, and his family has lost everything.
He said the union’s actions are a direct attack on his livelihood, which includes running a yard for his family and the port, and a major source of income for him.
The truck driver said the drivers’ union has demanded that he pay $7,000 a month in back pay, but the truck driver and his wife are unable to pay for it, and the truck drivers are struggling to make ends meet.
We’re just going to have to fight for what we want and try to make sure that we get what we deserve, Mays said.
The port of New York is one of the busiest in the country, but it’s a struggle to get garbage and refuse into its terminals.
The ports also have long struggled with traffic and pollution.
Mays and other truck drivers say that, as a result, they don’t receive the proper pay.
Mains union said in a statement Friday that the garbage drivers pay is a direct threat to his livelihood.
“This is a blatant attempt by the union to shut down the port and drive away truck drivers, who have been the backbone of our port since its inception,” said Bob Hagerty, the union president.
Mays said that he is tired of seeing the garbage piling up in the ports yard and the smell of diesel filling the air.
“It’s just disgusting.
It’s like someone’s going to throw a bunch of garbage into the ocean,” Mays told ABC News.
“It’s not a nice place to be.
It just isn’t.”
Mays has a daughter, two grandchildren and a great-grandson in the port.
He said that if the port were to close, he wouldn’t be able to work.
“There’s no way that I’m going to be able do what I want to do, because I’m getting $7k a month,” Mains said.
He and his friends are working together to make it happen.
They have been organizing for more than a year to stop the garbage dumping into the ports, and they’ve gotten support from many in the community.
Mains’ trucking company has a contract with the Port Authority of New New York and New Jersey, which manages the ports.
The Port Authority said that the truckers pay is an indirect threat to their employment.
The Port Authority’s acting director, Mary Ellen Reges, said in an email that the port does not pay garbage drivers.
“Garbage collection trucks operate within the bounds of contract provisions,” she wrote.
“In this instance, the trucking companies agreement with the port expressly prohibits the port from paying any portion of the trucker’s annual compensation to garbage collection workers.”
The truck drivers said they have been working with the truck workers to organize.
Hagerty said they’ve been reaching out to their elected officials, including Assemblyman Joe Russo, D-N.Y., the Port Administrator.
“I’ve been trying to reach out to members of both houses of the Legislature, but there is no response,” he said.
“There is no way to actually do anything.”
The port said in its statement that it has not received a threat to Mays’ contract, but Mains is not satisfied.
“The Port of New Jersey has been working for decades to make New York City a cleaner and healthier place,” the statement said.
“We know that a good relationship between the truck owners and the Port of NY is essential for this to happen.”