Date: March 29, 2012
Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) said it reached an agreement with striking workers over a healthcare contract issue. 24 Republic workers in Mobile, AL represented by the Teamsters Union went on strike on March 22, followed by sympathy strikes in Columbus, OH, and Buffalo, NY and later Seattle, WA. At issue, is a waiver of certain new health insurance surcharges. Members of the Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile had traveled to Washington State to establish the picket lines with help from other union members and community supporters.
March 29, 2012
Teamster Sanitation Workers Bring Republic Services Strike to Seattle
Disruptions In Trash and Recycling Pickups Expected as Workers Fight Against Republic's Labor Law Violations and Attacks on Health Care
Workers at Republic Services/Allied Waste [NYSE: RSG] - the nation's second largest solid waste and recycling company - arrived at work in Seattle, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Kent early this morning to find picket lines outside the facilities.
Striking members of Teamster Local Union 991 had traveled from Mobile, Ala. to extend picket lines to Republic's Seattle-area facilities. Members of Teamsters Joint Council 28 and community supporters put up sympathy pickets as well. Republic's workers at these facilities - 250 members of Teamsters Locals 117 and 174, 38 and 763 - refused to cross the lines.
On Thursday night, March 22, all 24 Republic Services workers in Mobile went on strike, including two workers who are not members of Teamsters Local 991. They are striking over Republic's labor laws violations. In February, Republic negotiators agreed to a contract, then backed out when they decided they wanted to pay less for workers' families health care coverage.
Just hours after Mobile workers went on strike, Republic Services workers in Columbus, Ohio and Buffalo, N.Y. – members of Locals 284 in Columbus and 449 in Buffalo – refused to cross sympathy picket lines in support of the Mobile strikers. Republic's trash and recycling work in those two cities were effectively shut down from Friday through Monday. Sympathy picket lines are now spreading to other Republic facilities across the country, where the Teamsters have nearly 150 contracts.
More than 400 Teamster-represented drivers and helpers have now honored picket lines at Republic Services at these facilities.
In 2011, Republic Services/Allied Waste earned $8.2 billion in revenues and declared profits of $589 million, up 15 percent per share from 2010.
"Republic claims it can't afford to provide quality, reasonably priced health care for its employees," said Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division Director Robert Morales. "Yet the employees are the ones who risk their lives every day to protect the public health and rake in profits for the company."
"I've worked at Republic for 16 years," said striking worker Steve Burroughs. "I don't want to strike, but these top 1 percent corporations have done nothing but harass and intimidate us. As a worker, I'm part of the 99 percent in America and I can't stand by any more while our jobs are destroyed."
The Teamsters represent approximately 9,000 employees at Republic Services and its subsidiaries at more than 150 facilities throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RepublicServicesTeamsters and follow https://twitter.com//repubteamsters
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.