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Federal Labor Law Violations Provoke Teamsters Strike at Republic Services

 

Sympathy Picket Lines Go Up In Two Other Cities; Customers Should Expect Widespread Service Disruptions

MOBILE, Ala., March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Republic Services workers were forced to strike the nation's second-largest solid waste and recycling company today in response to Republic's labor law violations, which include backing out of a negotiated contract with Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Ala.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO)

The 24 drivers and helpers at Republic's facility in Mobile struck at 11:30 p.m. Thursday. At 1 a.m. today, in a show of solidarity against Republic's labor law violations, Teamsters Local 375 put up a sympathy picket line at the Republic facility in Buffalo, NY. The 95 Republic drivers and helpers in Buffalo, members of Teamsters Local 449, honored the line.

Also at 1 a.m. today, a sympathy picket line went up at the Republic facility in Columbus, Ohio. The 78 Republic drivers and mechanics in Columbus, members of Teamsters Local 284, honored the line.

And across the country today, Republic workers are wearing stickers that say, "Republic Services: Don't Trash Our Contracts."

"The workers at Republic Services care about this company and its customers," said Local 991 Secretary-Treasurer Jim Gookins. "They don't want to strike, but like the rest of the 99 percent in America, they are tired of being disrespected and having their rights under federal labor law violated while corporations in the top 1 percent destroy their livelihoods."

The National Labor Relations Board is investigating several labor law violations committed by Republic, including bargaining in bad faith. Mobile's drivers were set to vote on their tentative contract agreement on Feb.17. The day before, Republic announced it was withdrawing from the agreement.

"Unfortunately, the situation in Alabama isn't an isolated case," said Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division Director Bob Morales. "In the last year, Republic has increasingly tried to intimidate, harass and bully its employees to the detriment of both workers and customers."

In Columbus, Ohio and Buffalo, New York, Republic has been demanding pay, health care and retirement concessions since contract negotiations started last year. In Kansas City, Republic tried to strip employees of some of their overtime pay. In Canton, Ohio, Republic tried to bully workers into giving up their union health care plan.

In 2011, Republic earned $8.2 billion in revenues and declared profits of $589 million, up 15 percent per share from 2010.

"These workers put their bodies in harm's way every day to protect the public health," Gookins said. "The least Republic can do is provide affordable health coverage for them."

The Teamsters represent about 9,000 employees at Republic Services and its subsidiaries at more than 150 facilities throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

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 Teamsters

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