Bass Lake utility workers announce strike

By Max Fontaine | Public-employee-compensation beat

Town officials hope for the best, as utility workers go on strike. (Unrelated photo)

Workers from Bass Lake Utilities and Garbage Collection have announced a strike, effective immediately.

Theme of the walkout is “Better wages — Higher pay,” according to what organizers have said.

The standoff could curb the town’s spring yard waste pick-up, which was to begin this week, as well as seasonal hydrant flushing, set for sometime in May.

Mayor Forrest Bunkard expressed what he calls “calm anxiety,” following the announcement.

“It couldn’t come at a worse time,” Bunkard said during a night-cap interview at Funky’s on the Bayou. “Amend that, winter would be worse in theory, which is easy to forget since this year, that season was climatically mild, in a comparative sense. So, the current situation is second-worst-case possibility — or at least it would tie with fall leaf-collection. In summary, it’s among the top-three worst times for this to happen.”

Irregardlessly, Bunkard believes the strike will be short-lived.

“And that’s ‘lived,’ with a long ‘i’ sound,” Bunkard said. “People tend to say it with short-i, which technically is incorrect, as far as I’m concerned. Are you paying for our beers?”

Immediate comment from strikers was not immediately available, although one participant did comment, vowing high-visibility.

“You’ll see us,” he said. “We’ll be the ones carrying picket-signs in front (of) and behind town hall.”

(Copy-editor’s note: Parentheses around “of” are my addition)

Bass Lake’s utilities/garbage department currently employs nine, including the receptionist, who also serves as custodian.

Meanwhile, town officials urge residents to be patient, and are instructed to burn smallish-sized twigs and brush.

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