Sep 8, 2023 - News

Durham sanitation workers strike for higher wages

The city is asking residents to keep their bins at the curb. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Durham sanitation workers continued to strike Friday — refusing to pick up garbage and recycling for a third day as part of a call for increased wages.

Driving the news: Workers began striking Wednesday. They are collectively calling on the Durham City Council to give them $5,000 bonuses, raise their pay and reclassify temporary workers as full-time employees.

  • Many sanitation workers have noted they have to commute in from cheaper counties and can't afford Durham rents.

What's happening: The rising cost of living in the Triangle is pushing service workers further out.

  • That has put pressure on everyone from local governments to restaurants and retailers to raise wages.
  • Durham firefighters similarly called for raises earlier this year and got a 7% pay increase — though their demands came before the city's annual budget had been set.

State of play: Durham solid waste collectors' wages range from $39,141 to $57,953, ABC11 reported.

  • Drivers can make up to $70,000.

The city council said on Thursday that it would take up the issue again on Sept. 21, the News & Observer reported.

  • In the meantime, the city has asked residents to keep their bins on the curb.

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