Local Elected Officials Told of Republic-Initiated Lockouts and Trash Service Disruptions
(Washington, DC) – Teamster members exposed Republic Services/Allied Waste’s [NYSE: RSG] problematic record today at the opening session of the National League of Cities’ annual Congressional City Conference.
More than 2,000 mayors, city councilmembers, and local administrators at the conference were greeted by Teamsters holding a banner that stated “Republic Services Trashes American Cities.” The League of Cities attendees also received leaflets that read, “Tell Republic: Do It Right or Pay the Penalty.”
Teamsters alerted municipal elected officials about how they can protect their city from Republic-initiated lockouts and trash service disruptions. Municipalities can find more information about Republic’s trash service disruptions at:www.PickUpTheGarbage.com.
In the current economy, most municipalities’ finances are hard-pressed, with a difficult local fiscal situation now exposed to the uncertainty and fallout generated by the Federal sequester and overall budget impasse. Effective procurement and stable services are even more important in these difficult times.
“When large waste and recycling contracts are at stake, it is important that municipalities understand what they’re getting with Republic Services/Allied Waste,” said Robert Morales, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division.
“Sanitation workers perform the fourth-most dangerous job in the country, yet Republic Services has been locking out and attacking its workers,” Morales said. “This has led to trash service disruptions in numerous U.S. cities during the past year. I’d recommend cities follow Seattle’s lead, where they have strong contract language. Seattle’s waste vendors pay steep fines for trash service disruptions.”
In Evansville, Ind., Republic intentionally left the city without reliable trash service for six weeks, locking out its workers in an attempt to bully them. Despite high costs to the city’s residents and a political embarrassment for local elected officials, Republic had little incentive to resume regular service. Out-of-town replacement drivers damaged people’s homes, vehicles and even power lines during the lockout. After being locked out without pay for a month, the Indiana workers took their picket lines to other cities across the U.S. Fellow Republic/Allied Waste workers refused to cross picket lines in Wayne, Mich.; Urbana, Ill.; and Richmond, Milpitas and Long Beach, Calif.
In 2012, Republic/Allied Waste refused to honor a binding contract with its sanitation workers in Mobile, Ala. The workers were forced to strike to protest the company’s illegal behavior, and took their picket lines to other cities across the country. Fellow Republic/Allied Waste workers refused to cross picket lines in Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; and Seattle, Bellevue, Kent and Lynnwood, Wash.
In Memphis, Tenn., Republic is discriminating against its workers—soiling the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the city where he died fighting a righteous battle for fair treatment for hard work regardless of race or union status. Workers in Memphis and cities across America are at a boiling point over the chronic attacks on their dignity.
“Unfortunately, in so many places across America, Republic Services seems indifferent to a fair deal for communities and sanitation workers—with all that it entails,” Morales said. “We are working our hardest to build a cooperative framework. Municipalities should look to make sure they are not forced to pay the cost of waste service disruption that Republic seems so indifferent to.”
Republic/Allied Waste’s total revenues were more than $8.2 billion in 2011, with profits of more than $589 million. In May 2012, the same month it locked out its workers in Evansville, the company approved a death and disability benefit for its CEO valued at more than $23 million.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us atwww.PickUpTheGarbage.com , on Twitter @RepubTeamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/