MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Is there a shell game at Memphis City Hall? On paper, the city eliminated its wrecker division and cut about a dozen positions last year. But, ABC 24 learned employees are still getting behind the wheel of those big trucks.
Eliminating the city wrecker division was supposed to save half a million dollars a year. The work was outsourced to private companies.
Some drivers were laid off, others were given different jobs at a lower pay. Now union leaders say there is a problem.
Union spokesperson Chad Johnson has a lot of questions for those in charge at city hall.
"It's my understanding they're still out there pulling cars, hopping on wreckers and pulling cars," he said. "The conversation we had was that the job was being abolished. To me that means it's no longer being done."
After the wrecker division was shut down, one former city wrecker driver was given a job working in the police impound lot. ABC 24 found him at a public works office on Levee Road using a city wrecker to tow garbage trucks.
You may not think it's a big deal, but union leaders think it is.
City wrecker drivers took a big pay cut to be transferred to different city jobs just so they can have a job.
If they are going to be towing city equipment, union leaders say truth is, they should be paid for it.
"If the job is still available inside the city, being done by city workers, then they should be getting paid what they were being paid before as wrecker drivers," Johnson said.
No one at city hall would comment and referred us to MPD. MPD says some impound lot employees are required to be able to drive a wrecker, but that they don't run a wrecker service.
Union leaders say they've made several calls to city hall trying to get answers, but so far no luck.