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'The worst mayor' - Metro councilmembers outraged over plant workers whose jobs were outsourced

1 year 3 months 1 day ago Tuesday, February 14 2023 Feb 14, 2023 February 14, 2023 10:33 PM February 14, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - It was an explosive Metro Council meeting this past week. Many councilmembers were upset after the mayor's office outsourced jobs for plant workers at a water treatment center. 

Employees told the council they had little to no notice that this was going to happen. 

"We received two memos. That's it, two. The first one said we weren't good at our jobs and we are going to give it away. The second one said 'Omar got the job, pack your stuff up,'" a worker told the council. 

Councilwoman Chauna Banks says there was a lack of communication on what would happen to the workers once their jobs were outsourced. She placed that blame on Mayor Sharon Weston Broome. 

"We have absolutely the worst mayor and mayor's administration that I have experienced in my 61 years," Banks said. 

But it's an accusation that Glenn Curtis, the Chief Administrative Officer with the mayor's office, disputes. He says the council knew what was going on with the workers for almost a year. 

"The mayor is staunch on her commitment to make sure these employees have a soft landing that they want, as we can," Curtis said. 

The mayor's office hired a new company to take over the parish-owned plant. The administration says the workers will not be fired and can continue to work at the plant or find a job within the city-parish with similar benefits and pay. 

But Banks still maintained that the council did not know what would happen with the employees. 

She said at Wednesday's meeting that it was Mayor Broome's job to have a plan for the next step for plant workers. 

Curtis says they communicated with the council about this process the best that they could. 

"Everyone was notified. It had been in the media as far back as a year trying to communicate and overcommunicate this entire process."

The contract to outsource the plant ended up passing Wednesday night.

WBRZ asked an employee at the plant for an interview and we were told they had no comment. 

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