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Trash Haulers Will Rally to Protest Privatization

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk's public service workers have spoken their mind, they have distributed fliers and they have put up signs. Now they're going to have a rally.

The members of AFSCME Local 2405 are protesting the city's proposal to privatize garbage collection. Hal Alvord, director of the Department of Public Works, says the plan would save the city $360,000. But the workers say Norwalk's taxes would go up and point to what happened when the city privatized water treatment as an example.

Members will march outside city hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday and then attend the 8 p.m. Common Council meeting. "We want to show the Common Council and the people of Norwalk that we are trying to save the city workers," said Bela Garrison Sr., an executive board member of Local 2405.

"Privatization is a bad deal for residents, workers and taxpayers!" the workers say on their flier.

The city says no DPW employees would lose their jobs in privatization and savings would be realized by lower costs to a private employer. The workers, who routinely finish their shifts early, have an unusually high incidence of work-related injuries, which is also factored into the city's costs, according to Mayor Richard Moccia.

Garrison said the employees would be switched to other jobs and make less money. Norwalk residents would not be happy if the city privatizes, he said. "They're not going to get the same service. This is what we're trying to get across to the people," he said. "It's already been proven."

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