Teamsters, Allies Protest At Republic Services Shareholder Meeting
Workers Protest Lockout Of Indiana Workers And Exorbitant CEO Death Benefits
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamster members, environmental allies and supporters protested Republic Services' lockout of its workers and excessive CEO death benefits at Republic's annual shareholder meeting today.
Republic locked out 80 of its workers who are members of Teamsters Local 215 in Evansville, Ind., in an attempt to force the workers to give up their pensions. Local 215 had been in negotiations for a new contract with Republic since March 2. The workers and their union wanted to continue negotiations, but Republic locked them out instead.
"These workers put their bodies in harm's way every day to protect the public health," said Robert Morales, Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division Director. "It is offensive that the Republic's CEO's estate will get $23 million if he dies, and in the meantime the company wants to throw out the pension of the men and women who do the work that earns it millions."
Outside the shareholder meeting, workers held banners that read "Republic Trashes Workers" and a gold coffin that read "Republic Greed Kills Good Jobs."
At the shareholder meeting, representatives from the Teamsters General Fund presented a shareholder resolution that would give shareholders the right to vote on executive compensation. The resolution received 41 percent support in today's vote. ISS, the leading proxy voting advisory service, had recommended shareholders vote for the Teamsters' proposal.
Republic has an estimated $23 million in benefits earmarked for the estate of CEO Donald Slager should he die or become disabled during employment. Shareholders did not have a voice in this decision.
Louis Malizia, assistant director of the Teamsters Capital Strategies Department, introduced the shareholder resolution on behalf of the Teamsters General Fund.
"Just like other severance-style agreements, shareholders should be given the right to vote on whether we feel that these executives were worthy of such exorbitant sums, and whether their performance at the company merits such compensation," Malizia said.
Republic Services/Allied Waste is America's second largest solid waste and recycling company. In 2011, Republic earned $8.2 billion in revenues and declared profits of $589 million, up 15 percent per share from 2010.
Attending the shareholder meeting with the Teamsters was Monica Wilson, Director of the U.S. and Canada programs of the environmental coalition GAIA.
"Frontline communities where our members live and work are impacted across the country by decisions that Republic makes, by Republic's landfills, and how they treat their workers," Wilson said. "Locking out workers affects the safety on local streets when inexperienced workers drive 2-ton trucks on streets with which they're not familiar. Republic doesn't even treat recycling drivers with the respect they deserve, by paying them less than garbage drivers. Communities and Republic's sanitation and recycling workers deserve to be treated better than this."
"This is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, even more dangerous than police or firefighters," Morales continued. "It's amazing to me that these workers can even make it to retirement age, and now this highly profitable company wants to rob these workers of their retirement security."
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.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of TeamstersBack to top