WASHINGTON, December 17, 2021 / PRNewswire / – More than 450 sanitation workers at Republic Services waste haulage sites in Anaheim and Huntington Beach, California – Members of Teamsters Local 396 – today ratified new collective agreements after striking for seven days to protest the Republic’s violations of federal labor laws that protect workers’ rights. The company’s illegal behavior included unilateral changes without negotiation and threats of retaliation against employees who participated in union activities.
Both contracts will cover workers until 2025 and include significant wage increases, among other improvements. Within hours of ratifying the new contracts at Orange Country, however, more than 250 Republic Services workers in San Diego – members of Local 542 – have called a strike demanding that the company come to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract.
The dispute in San Diego is one of several other contracts the Teamsters are currently negotiating across the country.
During the strike of Orange County, five striking members of Local 396 extended the picket line by going to the Republic marshalling yard in New Orleans and set up a stake there. Other strikers extended the picket line to the Republic recycling facility in Anaheim. Republic Services employees at both locations – members of Teamsters Locals 270 and 952 respectively – refused to cross the Local 396 picket line.
Members of Teamsters Local 270 at New Orleans had recently been on strike themselves. They went on strike for three days in November 2021 to protest against the Republic’s violations of federal labor laws.
Republic Services is the second largest waste collection, disposal and landfill company in America, with facilities in more than 40 states. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 7,000 Republic workers across the country. Teamster members who work for Republic Services are currently negotiating new contracts with the company in eight locations: San Diego, San Francisco, Stockton, San jose and Richmond, california; Seattle; Pittsburgh; and New Orleans.
“We see again and again that Republic Services exploits and mistreats its workers, breaks the law and gives our members no choice but to strike. There is no excuse for this behavior,” said Chuck stiles, director of the solid waste and recycling division of the Teamsters. “This company generates billions in profits for its executives and shareholders, thanks to the hard work of its frontline employees. We call on the company to respect the rights of workers, to make sure they are safe for pandemic and use safe equipment, and pay them a fair return on their work. Los Angeles may be over, but Teamster members across America are fed up and will continue to act until the company stops breaking the law and is ready to negotiate fair contracts for these essential workers. . “
“It took a seven-day strike with two extensions for the company to promise to stop breaking the law and negotiating fair contracts by Orange County“Stiles added.” If the Republic continues to break the law and abuse its workers, I expect we will see more union action in other places, as we have seen. this morning at San Diego. “
In 2020, Republic Services earned more 10 billion dollars with $ 1.2 billion in net income and the total compensation of its CEO was more than $ 12 million. Republic spent more than $ 736 million buy back its shares in recent years. The largest shareholder of Republic is the founder of Microsoft Bill gates, and Gates’ investment advisor sits on Republic’s board of directors.
“The Republic Services teammates have shown their power this week, and I want to congratulate the members of Local 396 for leading the fight and winning a contract that reflects their value and will bring them respect,” said James P. Hoffa, General President of the Union des Teamsters. “The victories by contract in Orange County testify to the courage and determination of our members. But the fight continues. We will continue to fight across the country for the Republic Teamsters. In this business, workers must remain vigilant. Let this strike be a reminder that waste workers know their value and have the power. The public is also on their side. The pandemic has shed new light on remediation work – the fifth deadliest job in America – and our members are putting their lives at risk every day to protect the health of the public. ”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million working men and women across United States, Canada and Porto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like us” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Galien Munroe, (202) 439-7427
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters