PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The debate over Governor Tom Corbett’s statements about workers in Pennsylvania continues.
On Thursday, WPHT’s Chris Stigall talked to Scott Wagner, Owner of the Penn Waste Inc.
Wagner agrees with Governor Tom Corbett that Pennsylvania is afflicted with workers who cannot pass drug tests.
“Governor Corbett is absolutely right on this one,” said Wagner. “The bottom line is that there is a drug epidemic in this country and no one wants to talk about it.”
“As an employer I have seen this. I have been in the waste business for almost 30 years and I’ve watched this thing escalate,” said Wagner. ” The last five years has just become incredible. I think with drug usage, prescription drugs are a huge problem right now.”
Wagner spoke about his company during the interview.
“We have about 350 employees at Penn Waste. We hire truck drivers. We have 100 CDL drivers. We do pre-hire drug tests, pre-hire physical screenings, we have to do random drug tests, the whole nine yards.”
“The reality is…and I’m just laying it out on the line. Last year at Penn Waste, we had almost 2,000 people walk in and put in applications. We don’t advertise. They are walking in and putting in applications. And I guarantee you, if we went out with a little 8-oz Dixie cup and asked them to go back in the bathroom and pee in a cup, and take a drug test, there would be a 50 percent failure rate at a minimum, and it might be 60 or 70.”
Says Wagner, “Governor Corbett is telling people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. You know, this is what leaders do. And you know what, I’m running a business every day, and I know what I am talking about. These people that are piling on, they don’t know what they are talking about.”
Stigall asked Wagner about his line of work. “Is this the kind of work you would hear people say ‘Jobs Americans won’t do’? I’m curious about that. Is that your feeling?”
“Not necessarily,” answered Wagner. “Look, driving a truck is tremendous amount of responsibility. We have about 100 drivers who take a tremendous amount of pride in driving their truck,” he said.
“We have a lot of drivers they are super proud of what they do, and I’m proud of what they do. I’m proud of what I do, I’m a garbage man. Yeah there are a lot of people that would say, I would never load garbage, but hey, you know what, its an essential service that’s needed.”
During the interview, Stigall asked Wagner, “You’ve decided to come out and take a position here. A lot of business owners say, ‘Not me, too controversial.’ Why did you do it?”
“I hear this all the time, ‘We can’t, I’m scared’,” answered Wagner. “Why cant you? Listen, We have people that have defended our country for years and years that take bullets. At the end of the day it’s right and wrong, and I believe in right and wrong. I think we are starting to accomplish things. Its slow. There’s a lot more we need to do in Pennsylvania, a lot.”
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