St. Pete sanitation workers don't want big brother watching

- St. Petersburg sanitation workers are fighting with the city over a change in policy with camera’s in garbage trucks.

About a year ago, the city of St. Petersburg put cameras inside and on the outside of its garbage trucks.  Now that the pilot program is over, the city is removing an agreement with the worker’s union that says employees can’t be fired based on evidence from the cameras.

Rick Smith with the Florida Public Services Union said workers feel like they’re being spied on. 

“Oh, morale is horrible,” Smith said.  “It’s really the worst. For the first time in history, this administration wants to spy on the workers.”

Ben Kirby, spokesman for Mayor Rick Kriseman, says data from the camera isn’t saved unless there’s some sort of accident.

“No one is spying on anyone,” Kirby said.   “It’s important to note that the cameras are only activated if there’s an incident.  It doesn’t come [to city hall] we don’t have a team of people looking at a video feed from sanitation trucks all day.  It goes to a third party.”

The union says of 19 minor accidents last year only three were captured on camera.   The camera system cost St. Petersburg $220,000.

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