Workers Locked Out By Republic Services Extend Picket Line To West Coast
Locked-out Indiana workers travel to California; Customers Should Expect Widespread Service Disruptions
RICHMOND, Calif., June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sanitation workers from Republic Services in Evansville, Ind. extended their picket line to a Republic facility in Richmond early this morning. The workers are not on strike – their picket line is a protest in response to Republic locking them out of their jobs. The 180 Republic workers in Richmond, members of Teamsters Local 315, refused to cross the picket line this morning.
On May 8, Republic locked out 80 of its workers who are members of Teamsters Local 215 in Evansville, Ind., in an attempt to starve the workers into giving 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.
"Republic is going to save millions over the next 20 years if they force their workers to move from a pension to a 401(k)," said Chuck Whobrey, President of Teamsters Local 215. "These are not high-salaried workers, so many of them won't be able to afford to take money from their paychecks for retirement. And when that happens, Republic's profits will grow even larger."
"Unfortunately, we are seeing a pattern here. In the last year, Republic has increasingly tried to intimidate, harass and bully its employees," said Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division Director Robert Morales. "Back in March, Republic Services workers in Alabama were forced to strike in response to Republic's labor law violations, which included backing out of a negotiated contract with Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile."
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.
On May 17 Republic Services held its annual shareholder meeting, where the Teamsters Union spoke out against Republic's estimated $23 million in benefits earmarked for the estate of Republic President and CEO Donald Slager should he die or become disabled during employment.
"This is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, and these workers put their bodies in harm's way every day to protect the public health," continued Whobrey. "It is offensive that the Republic 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."
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 us on Twitter at @repubteamsters.
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 on Twitter @Teamster.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of TeamstersBack to top