The comments below are from a letter dated August 10, 2016, from the Commissioner of Streets and Sanitation, Charles L. Williams, to Local 1001 Business Manager, James Ellis.

On August8, 2016 the Department of Streets and Sanitation observed a demonstration …. of a single arm refuse truck. This demonstration is a part of an ongoing effort by the Department of Streets and Sanitation to stay abreast of all new cutting edge technology that will assit our workforce as they deliver the best service possible…… any new equipment we consider complements our outstanding workforce and enhances their efficiencies and abilites to provide not just better service, but also a much more efficient delivery of service. …. it was vey clear this particular piece of equipment would not improve workforce efficiency but would rather impede in the delivery of resident services. For this reason the Department of Streets and Sanitation has no plans regarding the purchase of this equipment. I concur with your letter….. highlighting our Laborer workforce as the best in the country. They are the best, and we will support them to ensure we are delivering only the very best of services, as efficiently possible to the residents of this great city.

Within hours of the city testing the automated refuse truck the entire team at Local 1001 sprang into action and contacted administrators in the department’s and the Mayor’s Office to ensure everyone knew the true worth of Local 1001’s workforce and the reasons why the men and women of Local 1001 are much more valuable and efficient than any automated truck. With great points such as the lack of efficiency of the truck due to its loading only one cart at a time, and from only one side, to the lack of ability to haul away larger items, such as mattresses, branches, etc. and the overall customer service we provide such as cleaning up and picking up everything, not just what is in the carts. Along with other facts concerning saftey, maintenance, juridistion and equipment costs, the evidence was overwhelmingly in our favor.

Because of the hard work that you, the men and women of Local 1001 do day in and day out, we were able to convince the City of Chicago that the automated refuse truck is not the way to go.

Local 1001 is truly stronger together.