NORTHVILLE (WWJ) – At the state’s largest landfill, it’s not just the air that stinks — it’s apparently the pay.
Union representitives Arbor Hills Landfill, located off Napier and 6 Mile roads on the border of Northville and Salem townships, is the largest landfill by volume in the state of Michigan.
“I think you can take a good guess at that, that working in a landfill is not probably one of the better environments that you can be in on a daily basis,” Tom Scott, a union rep for the Operating Engineers 34, told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “For a facility this large to have the amount of waste that comes in not want to share in that wealth, it’s unfortunate.”
Scott says the facility is so large, well-paid engineers and operators of heavy equipment are needed to keep things safe. But the problem with the equation, Scott says, is that the workers feel like their wages are paltry — they’re paid an average of $13.26 an hour, but the going rate should be over $20.
Union reps will be out picketing trucks at the facility until they get talks with the company. So far, no talks have been scheduled.
“We’re not here to disrupt the flow of the waste coming in. What we’re here to do is, we want this to be more of a partnership than a combative relationship,” said Scott. “We can bring to the table training and certain things and it brings a skilled labor force to this area.”
The company that operates the landfill, Advanced Disposal, contends that they are negotiating in good faith, and have been for over than a year. Spokesperson Joe Kohn told WWJ at this point they’re waiting on the union to schedule the next round of talks.